Arctic Museum Issues Polar Bear Charm

Story posted March 17, 2006

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The Jensen polar bear charm.

The Peary-MacMillan Arctic Museum has issued the second in a series of Arctic-themed charms. The sterling silver polar bear charm is now for sale at the Museum, located in Hubbard Hall on the Bowdoin College campus.

Claude Jensen (1895-1989), an electrical engineer and silversmith, designed a number of charms featuring Arctic subjects in honor of Arctic explorer and Bowdoin College graduate Donald B. MacMillan (Class of 1898).

Jensen lived and worked in Pittsburgh, Penn., for 40 years. When he retired, he moved to Provincetown, Mass., where he became good friends with MacMillan. Jensen made several necklaces and bracelets using the charms and gave one to Miriam MacMillan, Donald MacMillan's wife.

Jensen's son, Grady Jensen, generously donated the charm molds to The Peary-MacMillan Arctic Museum in 2001.

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The Schooner Bowdoin charm.

The Arctic Schooner Bowdoin, MacMillan's beloved ship, inspired the first charm issued by the Museum. The Snowy Owl Gallery of Brunswick has now cast the series' second charm, a polar bear. Both the polar bear and the Schooner Bowdoin charms are for sale for $35 each in The Peary-MacMillan Arctic Museum gift shop.

The polar bear has a long association with Bowdoin College. It became the College mascot in 1913, to commemorate the many Bowdoin graduates and faculty who had explored and conducted research in the Arctic. In 1917 MacMillan donated the mounted bear that is on display in the lobby of Morrell Gymnasium. He and Nukapinguaq, an Inuit hunter, captured the bear during MacMillan's stay in northern Greenland between 1913 and 1917.

The Peary-MacMillan Arctic Museum is located on the first floor of Hubbard Hall, on the Bowdoin College campus. Museum hours are Tuesday-Saturday 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and Sunday 2-5 p.m. The Museum is closed Mondays and national holidays. Admission is free.

For more information call (207) 725-3416.

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