hursday, January 11, 2007
Bradford Washburn, father of modern Museum of Science, dies at 96
By Andrew Ryan, Globe Correspondent
Bradford Washburn, the founder of the modern Boston Museum of Science who transformed a modest collection into renowned institution, died last night at the age of 96.
The cause was heart failure, said his wife, Barbara Washburn. He died in Brookhaven retirement home in Lexington.
"He was a very kind and loving person and just had a desire for doing good things and adventure," Barbara Washburn said. "And he loved to share that goodness and that spirit of adventure."
Mr. Washburn ran the Museum of Science for 41 years, moving the small collection from its original Berkeley Street building to its present site on the Charles River Basin, now known as Science Park.
Mr. Washburn retired at age 70, but "It didn't slow him down at all," Barbara Washburn said.
An avid mountaineer and cartographer, Mr. Washburn made eight first-recorded ascents of North American peaks and authored two-dozen maps, several of the Grand Canyon, Mount Everest, and Mount McKinley. As a photographer, he pioneered the high-resolution, large-format aerial picture.
Mr. Washburn hailed from a bygone era when social status, scientific investigation, mountaineering, and exploration all combined into a "true Victorian style and character," biographer Michael Sfraga has written in "Bradford Washburn, A Life of Exploration."
There will be no services. Mr. Washburn will be cremated.
"He didn't want any fuss," Barbara Washburn said.
Posted by the Boston Globe City & Region Desk at 09:22 AM