Northwest Passage, Amundsen and McKenna

Provincetown, MA
Oil on composition board
24 x 20 in. (61 x 50.8 cm)
Signed top right: "E W Dickinson"
Private collection
Photo: Geoffrey Clements


Notes: Painted in Provincetown, MA; 1924; November 7, 8, 10. 1925; January 31, February 3, June 19, 21.November 10, ED reading Northwest Passage again. (journal). To EHS, November 7, 1924, "Am doing one of Amundsen on his NW Passage voyage . . . . " Painting purchased in 1920s by artist Mary Stafford Frazier as birthday gift for her husband, old friend of ED.

The painting commemorates the meeting in the Northwest Passage, of Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen (1872-1928) on his ship, the Gjorta, [ Gjoa] and Captain McKenna from an American whaler, the Charles Hanssom. From 1903 to 1906, Amundsen sailed west in the straits 500 miles above the Arctic Circle, seeking a route between the Atlantic and Pacific. After an ice-bound winter, he had traveled some 70% of the passage when, in 1905, he met the whaler sailing east. He knew then that success was his. Both ships wintered over in Churchill Bay, and in 1906 Amundsen completed the route. Amundsen was one of the most famous explorers of his time and the discoverer of the South Pole.


Private collection

Exhibition History

1925 PAA: as "Amundsen and McKenna"
1976 PAAM: Edwin Dickinson Retrospective
2007 PAAM: Edwin Dickinson In Provincetown 1912-1937