William Bradford’s (1823-1892) “Arctic Regions” was published in London in 1873, principally sponsored by Queen Victoria. An estimated 300 volumes were printed. Three are owned locally, one here at the New Bedford Whaling Museum, one belonging to the Millicent Library in Fairhaven, and one at the New Bedford Free Public Library.
Arctic Regions in 1869
Bradford’s book recounts a three-month journey along the Western coast of Greenland aboard the Panther; a 325-ton sealing ship. Departing from St. John’s Newfoundland on July 3, 1869, the voyage was organized by Fairhaven artist William Bradford solely for “purposes of art.” Accompanying him were distinguished Arctic explorer Dr. Isaac Israel Hayes and skilled photographers John L. Dunmore and George Critcherson.
Unlike earlier Arctic journeys set on discovering the Northwest Passage, or undertaken for commercial profit, national prestige, or scientific curiosity, Bradford journeyed for art with sketchpad in hand.