The Frame-Up Audio Tour

4 – The Crew of HMS ‘Terror’ …

George Chambers (British, 1803-1840)
The Crew of HMS 'Terror' Saving the Boats and Provisions on the Night of 15th March (1837), 1838
oil on canvas
Purchased with a Minister of Communications Cultural Property Grant and funds from Friends of the Beaverbrook Art Gallery



If this painting doesn’t make you cold, I don’t know what will.

It shows the Franklin crew abandoning ship, the HMS Terror, on a March night in 1837. They were searching for The Northwest Passage, a quicker way for ships to travel between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, when everything went wrong.

Can you imagine being stuck inside this painting for almost two hundred years? I can’t.

Which is why as soon as all the gallery visitors and staff go home, most of the crew hightail it to The White Horse Inn or go visiting somewhere else, like a painting with a nice beach. And who can blame them?

If you think the artist did a good job of portraying the fear and the cold, trust me: It’s a million times worse inside! I had to go in there to rescue Max and I thought I would fall into the sea or freeze to death, even when I was outfitted in cold weather gear or. This is the most dangerous painting in the art gallery; be glad you can’t go inside!