How did Arctic explorers celebrate Christmas in the north, far from friends and family, over 100 years ago?
Arctic Museum to Reopen February 1, 2022
The Peary-MacMillan Arctic Museum will be closed through Monday, January 31, 2022.
The Arctic Museum will begin accepting reservation requests again on Monday, January 10, 2022.
The Arctic Museum will reopen to guests with reservations on Tuesday, February 1, 2022.
Arctic Museum Open by Reservation!
- The Arctic Museum galleries are open Tuesday-Friday from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. by reservation only.
- To make a reservation, contact the outreach coordinator, at least one working day before the time you want to visit. Email email@example.com or call 207-725-3416.
- A proof of vaccination (including booster) is required of all visitors. Please follow the directions on this link to upload your vaccination card to the CLEAR app and get a health pass.
- It takes at least 24 hours for the CLEAR app to verify your vaccination card, so you should upload information at least 24 hours before your visit to be sure you have a green health pass when you visit.
- If you do not want to use the CLEAR app, please arrive ready to show us your vaccination card [photos of the front and back of the card will suffice] and a valid federal or state ID.
- Because of staffing schedules, we regret that drop-ins cannot be accommodated.
- We are not able to accommodate large outside groups or provide tours of the exhibits.
- Museum visitors must wear masks at all times.
- Bowdoin College faculty, staff and students should make a reservation and arrive with your college ID.
- You can find a list of exhibits currently on view in the galleries here.
- A large selection of online exhibits are found here.
Arctic Museum Exhibits
Fifty years after Bowdoin first admitted women as students, the Peary-MacMillan Arctic Museum reflects on the women associated with the college’s work in the far north in an exhibit of photographs of Western and Inuit woman. From Josephine Peary, who supported her husband Robert’s work from home and in the Arctic, to Tallman Scholar and honorary degree recipient Sheila Watt-Cloutier L.H.H 2008, women have been, and continue to be, an essential part of Bowdoin’s Northern heritage.
One hundred years ago, on April 9, 1921, a remarkable new vessel slipped down the ways at the Hodgdon Brothers Boatyard in East Boothbay, Maine. She was the schooner Bowdoin, designed by William Hand for Donald B. MacMillan specifically for sailing in the icy uncharted waters of the Arctic.
Photographer Shaun O’Boyle has traveled to both polar regions to capture the stark beauty of remote and beautiful Arctic and Antarctic landscapes.
Photos by award-winning photographer Rhea Banker. In evocative photos of Greenland dog sleds on summer landscapes, photographer Rhea Banker reflects on this vital form of Inuit transportation, now threatened by the ongoing loss of winter sea ice.
Matthew A. Henson spent years exploring the Arctic with Robert E. Peary and in 1909 he was the only other American to stand with Peary at the North Pole. Henson was excluded from receiving the many honors showered on Peary and the other white members of the expedition. Only near the end of his life did Henson received recognition for his remarkable career as an Arctic explorer.
Inspired by the full-sized Nunatsiavut kayak given to the College in 1891 and on display in the museum gallery for over 50 years, this exhibit explores making and using traditional kayaks from Greenland, Labrador, and beyond. It features over 20 model kayaks and umiaks, as well as associated equipment, historic film and photographs, and the centerpiece of the exhibit, a full size replica of the 1891 Kajak created for this exhibit.
Spring in the Arctic is a magical time of year, bringing both joy and challenges. In this unusual spring, we turn to historic images from our collection to celebrate the beauty of the changing seasons, the hope that comes with the return of the sun.
Women across the north have always created beautiful clothing, footwear, bags, and other objects for their families. In the past they decorated their work with dyed bird and porcupine quills, contrasting colors of hide and fur, and beads carved from stone, bone, ivory, and shell, creating pleasing patterns that also often had important symbolic meaning.
Flowers bloom profusely in the brief summers of the high Arctic, thriving in the 24-hour daylight despite low temperatures, little water, strong winds, and little or no soil. Growing low to the ground, tiny blossoms can be found scattered on otherwise bare ground or growing in dense mats. They bloom almost as soon as the snow begins to melt and continue through the short summer.
On the 100th anniversary of his death, we look at the life of Minik Wallace.
Traditional and contemporary music is a vibrant part of Inuit society. Inuit visual artists often portray traditional drummers, singers, and dancers in their works, highlighting the ways such performances and songs are crucial links to the past. Contemporary musicians are reviving traditional music, performing pieces in their original forms. At the same time, they are incorporating elements of older musical styles into modern genres, creating unique contemporary sounds.