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Elisha Kent Kane, MD (1820–1857)

Object Name: Portrait
Date: 1858
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Medium: Oil on canvas
Dimensions: Framed: 49 × 58 in. (124.5 × 147.3 cm) Unframed: 42 × 51 in. (106.7 × 129.5 cm)
Credit Line: Gift of several ladies of New York
Object Number: 1859.1
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Dr. Kane, famous Arctic explorer, was born in Philadelphia to John Kintzing Kane and Jane Duval (Leiper) Kane. His world travels began with his assignments to medical missions in China and in Africa. He served in the Mexican War in which he was wounded and contracted typhus, but by 1850 he had returned to duty with an expedition sent to the Arctic to search for a missing British explorer. The story of this journey is told in "The U.S. Grinnell Expedition in Search of Sir John Franklin" (1853).


"The Coast and the Sea," Portland Museum of Art, ME, January 1, 2015–April 26, 2015; Mattatuck Museum, Waterbury, CT, May 10, 2015–September 13, 2015; New York State Museum, Albany, NY, October 24, 2015–February 22, 2016.