Campus News

Arctic Charms Donated to Peary-MacMillan Arctic Museum

Story posted December 09, 2002

A collection of Arctic-themed charms by silversmith Claude Jensen has been donated to the Peary-MacMillan Arctic Museum on the Bowdoin College campus.

Newly cast silver charms of the Schooner Bowdoin, made from Jensenís original molds, are now for sale in the museumís shop.

Claude Jensen (1895-1989), an electrical engineer and silversmith, lived and worked in Pittsburgh, Penn. for 40 years. When he retired to Provincetown, Mass., he became good friends with Donald B. MacMillan, the famous Arctic explorer and Bowdoin College graduate (Class of 1898).

In honor of MacMillan, Jensen created a series of charms featuring Arctic subjects. The charms, designed to be worn on bracelets and necklaces or as pendants, feature the Schooner Bowdoin, a kayak, a walrus, a musk ox, a dog, a bear, an igloo, and a beluga whale.

Grady Jensen, Claude Jensen's son, generously donated his father's original silver charms to the Peary-MacMillan Arctic Museum. The donation included the charm molds.

Jensen suggested the museum use the molds to generate new charms to sell in the museumís shop. These new Schooner Bowdoin silver charms were recently cast by J. A. Henkel Co. Inc., of Brunswick.

The Schooner Bowdoin is named after MacMillan's alma mater, Bowdoin College. The vessel was designed by William H. Hand of New Bedford, Mass., for use in ice-laden Arctic waters, and was built by Hogdgon Brothers of East Boothbay, Maine.

During nearly 40 years of service, the Schooner Bowdoin sailed over 200,000 miles. In addition, MacMillan froze the vessel into the ice in Greenland and Labrador when working in the North year-round.

The Bowdoin is now owned by the Maine Maritime Academy and is based in Castine. It is the official sailing ship of the State of Maine.

The Peary-MacMillan Arctic Museum, located in Hubbard Hall, is open Tuesday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., and Sunday 2-5 p.m. The museum is closed Mondays and national holidays. For information about the charms or current exhibits call 725-3416.

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