Ernest H. Shackleton (1874-1922), by Charles Sargeant Jagger (1885-1934). 1927-32. Bronze statue of Shackleton in his sledging clothes, measuring 8' x 3.8' x 25". The statue is in a niche on the front of the Royal Geographical Society, facing Exhibition Road, Kensington Gore, London. Click on images to enlarge them.
Shackleton, the great Arctic explorer, died of a heart attack at an early stage of a new expedition. The last words in his diary were, "In the darkening twilight I saw a lone star hover gem-like above the bay" (qtd. in Mill 277).
The head was based on that of a bust of Shackleton by another sculptor J. A. Stevenson (1881-1937), who modelled it from the life. Jagger also "borrowed a pair of gloves used on the Polar expedition 'to make the work convincing'" (Compton 125). He had wanted to extend the base below the statue so that he could include a relief of a sledging scene as well, but unfortunately this idea was rejected. Even as it is, Ann Savours describes the monument as "powerful."
Photographs by the author. You may use these images without prior permission for any scholarly or educational purpose as long as you (1) credit the photographer and (2) link your document to this URL or cite the Victorian Web in a print document.]
Compton, Ann. The Sculpture of Charles Sargeant Jagger. Much Hadham, Herts: The Henry Moore Foundation; Aldershot: Lund Humphries, 2004.
Mill, Hugh Robert. The Life of Sir Ernest Shackleton C.V.O., O.B.E. (Mil.), LL.D.. London: William Heinemann, 1923. Internet Archive. Contributed by Robarts Library, University of Toronto. 4 June 2017.
Savours, Ann. "Shackleton, Sir Ernest Henry (1874–1922)." Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Online ed. Web. 4 June 2017.
Created 4 June 2017
Last modified 11 February 2020