Time to Eat the Dogs

On Science, History, and Exploration

New Arctic Exhibition

Septentrionalium Terrarum Descriptio, Gerard Mercator, 1611. A polar projection showing islands and open water at the North Pole.

Septentrionalium Terrarum Descriptio, Gerard Mercator, 1611. A polar projection showing islands and open water at the North Pole.

Apologies for the spare postings over the last two weeks. I’ve been doing a lot of out of town projects. Last week I was down in DC where Story House Productions is putting together a documentary on the Cook-Peary North Pole Controversy of 1909. They interviewed me in the historical newspaper room of the Newseum (just off the National Mall). Museums are strange places anyway, but after dark they become positively surreal.

News History Gallery, Newseum, Washington DC.

News History Gallery, Newseum, Washington DC.

I was also up in Maine working out the kinks of an exhibition I am curating at the Portland Museum of Art called “The Coldest Crucible: Arctic Exploration in American Culture.”  The show examines many of the same themes as my book (no surprise). But where my book was limited to 18 black-and-white prints, the exhibition delivers a much broader range of paintings, photos, and illustrations. The point is to show how the Arctic of these images represents a hybrid-world: a vision of polar regions, colored by the aesthetics  and preoccupations of the Americans who traveled there.

Gigantic Iceberg Seen By the Arctic Ships, From a Sketch by an Officer of the Valorous, Illustrated London News, 1875

Gigantic Iceberg Seen By the Arctic Ships, From a Sketch by an Officer of the Valorous, Illustrated London News, 1875

You can see some of the images of the show here.

I gave an interview about the exhibition on Channel 6 while I was there.

The show opens this Saturday and runs through 21 June.



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2 Comments»

  andrewstuhl wrote @

These sound like wonderful projects. Thanks for sharing!

All the best-
Andrew Stuhl

  Patricia Erikson wrote @

Hi Michael,
Congratulations on your exhibit. I’m sorry that our paths did not cross when you were up here, but I did get to visit your show and I enjoyed it. I was swamped with two lectures myself that week. I lament that I missed the sculpted cake at Bowdoin on the centennial. I didn’t know that you grew up in Cumberland. My first eight years were in Falmouth, thereafter in Gray.
Take care,
Patricia


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