Bradford Washburn

American 1910 – 2007

Inside an airplane flying in below-zero temperatures 20,000 feet above the Earth, Bradford Washburn removes the side door, balancing pre­cariously in the opening, while anchored by a 75-pound camera. This scene may have taken place years ago, but Bradford Washburn’s imaginative spirit continues to inspire us today. Explorer, photogra­pher, mountaineer, and scholar, Bradford Washburn is a legend. His innovative landscape photography techniques are spectacular and bold; the resulting black and white pictures are breathtaking in their simplic­ity and elegance.

Explorer • Photographer • Cartographer • Museum Director

Washburn’s career as an aerial landscape photographer spanned six decades. Together with his wife, Barbara, who in 1947 was the first woman to reach the summit of Mt. McKinley, Washburn was hon­ored in 1988 with the Centennial Medal of the National Geographic Society, under whose auspices he conducted numerous geographical explorations. He was responsible for definitive maps of Mt. McKinley, the Grand Canyon, Mount Everest, and New Hampshire’s Presidential Range.

When not in the field, Washburn served for over 40 years as the found­ing director of the highly acclaimed Museum of Science in Boston, Massachusetts.

“Bradford Washburn is one of the very few people who have combined spectacular experience in the wilderness with equally spectacular achievements in the world of civilization. One never knows what next to expect from this roving genius of mind and mountains…”

-Ansel Adams

Books of interest: Bradford Washburn, Mountain Photography by Antony Decaneas; Mount McKinley, The Conquest of Denali by Bradford Wash­burn and David Roberts; Escape From Lucania by David Roberts; Bradford Washburn, An Extraordinary Life by Bradford Washburn and Lew Freedman.