Friday, January 12, 2007

Honoring Bradford Washburn

I had intended to continue my sick theme as I am still home due to nurse's orders (apparently they are seeing 15-20 people a day with this virus). I visited to do my daily reading of the Globe, only to find that Bradford Washburn--museum director and founder, mountain climber, aerial photographer, cartographer, the list goes on--had died on Wednesday at age 96. (Read the article here.) As a child, he had breathing difficulties that he found were alleviated at high altitudes. For his honeymoon, he and his wife ascended Alaska's Mount Bertha. He founded the Museum of Science here in Boston and was its director for over 40 years. He hung out of planes with a special large format camera. Kind of makes my week at home seem like never moving beyond base camp.

Mr. Washburn and his gallery regularly and generously gave to the PRC's annual benefit auction. Although he lived in the Boston area, I sadly never got the privilege to meet Mr. Washburn. He didn't do lectures as often, although he was represented locally by the wonderful Panopticon Gallery. A quick visit to their site reveals that they are doing a retrospective of his favorite images. I highly recommend browsing through this online gallery of majestic images and reading the captions. To a long, amazing life!

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