How did Arctic explorers celebrate Christmas in the north, far from friends and family, over 100 years ago?
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.
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.
During the first week of May the Peary-MacMillan Arctic Museum put out a call for submissions for our first-ever virtual pop-up museum. The goal was to create an exhibit showcasing objects individuals would associate with the pandemic for years to come.
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.
Dogs have been working companions to Inuit for over 1000 years, yet social and environmental changes are threatening their place in Inuit society. This photo exhibit examines past and contemporary use of dogs.
Archaeologists working across the north are scrambling to document, salvage, and if possible, protect important historic and prehistoric sites threatened by retreating permafrost and increasing coastal erosion due to rising temperatures. Photographs contributed by researchers working in Alaska, Canada, and Greenland document the extent and urgency of this critical issue.