"Morning on the Arctic Ice Fields" (c.1880) oil on canvas by William Bradford. MMAM Collection.

"Morning on the Arctic Ice Fields" (c.1880) oil on canvas by William Bradford. MMAM Collection.

William Bradford and the Arctic

March 23, 2014 - October 24, 2014

William Bradford (1823-1892) became one of the first American painters to pursue the dream of painting the Arctic Regions firsthand.  He had made several sailing voyages to the arctic and his purpose was always to study nature, glaciers, icebergs, and the movement of ice and to acquire material for later use in his artwork.

On his 1869 voyage, Bradford brought along photographers John Dunmore and George Critcherson to document the voyage, the first photographic professionals to document so northerly a voyage. Bradford used these photographs to illustrate "The Arctic Regions: Illustrated with Photographs taken on an Art Expedition to Greenland", a travelogue recounting the expedition. These photographs, together with his own sketches, were the inspiration for large-scale oil paintings executed later in his New York studio. On display are pages from Bradford's book with original photographs; several of his original oil paintings; and arctic paintings by George Ottinger, Louis Dodd, John Stobart and Gordon Grant.


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