Peary MacMillan Arctic Museum
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Per Kirkeby, Peary Land [detail], 1963. Courtesy of Galleri Bo Bjerggaard, Copenhagen.
Peary/Kirkeby: Views of Peary Land
May 29, 2013 - July 14, 2013

In the late spring of 1892 Arctic explorers Robert E. Peary and Evind Astrup made a long and difficult crossing of the northern Greenland ice cap, becoming the first Euro-Americans to visit what is now known as Peary Land. This northernmost coast of Greenland remains one of the most isolated and rarely visited places on Earth. 

Artist/geologist Per Kirkeby spent the summer of 1963 in Peary Land working as a geologist. His experiences in the stark and beautiful landscape led him to turn his attention more fully to art, sparking a long and productive career. 

To celebrate the exhibit Per Kirkeby: Paintings and Sculptures at the Bowdoin College Museum of Art, The Peary-MacMillan Arctic Museum has brought together a selection of photographs by Peary and Kirkeby illustrating these two very different men’s first encounter with this amazing landscape.

Robert E. Peary, Navy Cliff, July 4, 1892. National Archives and Records Administration, College Park. 401_XPR-1981B-257.
Per Kirkeby, Peary Land, 1963. Courtesy of Galleri Bo Bjerggaard, Copenhagen.