May 11th 2009 – Golden, CO — Today Astronaut John Grunsfeld will launch one last time into space on a repair mission for the Hubble Telescope. Along on this mission is an antique camera once owned by the famous mountain photographer, Bradford Washburn. A friend to Washburn, Mr. Grunsfeld is taking the 1929 Zeiss Maximar B 4x5 on its last trip, for its last pictures.
The camera was one of Washburn’s “pocket” cameras used to document some of his most important mountain images. Not only is Washburn considered a historic figure in the alpine climbing arenas, but he is considered one of the most important landscape photographers of the 20th century.
“ Brad lived just a tremendous life he is one of my heroes and during the 1920s did just an fantastic number of tremendous climbs all over. As part of that he started pioneering the use of cameras from airplanes…I definitely plan to take some pictures of Hubble with the Zeiss camera but also of mountains which I know Brad would appreciate.” – John Grunsfeld – Lead Astronaut on Hubble Space Mission*
John Grunsfeld is a life-long member of the American Alpine Club (AAC) and the lead astronaut on the Hubble Telescope mission. After contacting the AAC, Grunsfeld agreed that taking Brad’s oldest and most important cameras with him on a mission to repair the camera on the Hubble Telescope would be a great gesture in remembrance of his friend.
The Bradford Washburn Camera belongs to the American Alpine Club and upon its return will be on display at the Bradford Washburn American Mountaineering Museum in Golden, CO. Starting June 9th the Mountaineering Museum will open an exhibit showcasing some of Brad’s photographic prints from his favorite personal collection. This collection is on permanent loan to the American Alpine Club at the AAC Library.
For more information visit the Bradford Washburn American Mountaineering Museum and the American Alpine Club Library at 710 10th St. Golden, CO 80401. www.mountaineeringmuseum.org