Deaccessioned June 24, 2015

Icebound Whaling Ship

about 1875
William Bradford (American, 1823–1892)


50.8 x 76.2 cm (20 x 30 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Oil on canvas






signed LR: W. Bradford NY


Possibly given by the artist to Robert Swain Gifford (b. 1840 - d. 1905), New York and by descent within the Gifford family to a private collection, New England; June, 1992, stolen from the home of this New England collector. 1992 or 1993, purchased at an antique store in Providence, RI by a consortium of art dealers and sold to a private collection, Massachusetts; 1998, sold by this private collection to Alfred J. Walker Fine Arts, Boston; 1998, sold by Walker Fine Arts to the MFA (accession date: March 18, 1998); June 24, 2015, deaccessioned by the MFA for return to the family of the 1992 owner.

Credit Line

Museum purchase with funds by exchange from the Gift of Maxim Karolik for the M. and M. Karolik Collection of American Paintings, 1815-1865, The Hayden Collection—Charles Henry Hayden Fund, Gift of William M. Bullivant, Gift of George A. Hearn, Gift of Steven and Barbara W. Grossman, Gift of Charles W. Townshend, Gift of Frederick L. Jack, Gift of the Heirs of George A. Kettell, Gift of George C. Seybolt, Anonymous Gift, Gift of Edgar William and Bernice Chrysler Garbisch, Bequest of Maxim Karolik, Given in the name of Samuel Parkman Oliver, Gift of the Copley Society, Gift of the Division of Education, Gift of Alexander Cochrane, Bequest of Ernest Wadsworth Longfellow, Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Maurice G. Evans, Gift of the Estate of Thomas Wigglesworth, Gift of Mary W. Bartol, John W. Bartol, and Abigail W. Clark, Bequest of Mrs. Anna M. Richards, Gift of Horatio Greenough Curtis, Gift of Robert D. Andrews, Gift of Mrs. Livingston Davis, Gift of Anna Gower Endicott, Gift of the Executors of the Estate of Anne Goldthwait, Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Hans Kleinschmidt, Gift of Frances V. Marshall, Bequest of Miss Catharine A. Barstow, A. Shuman Collection—Abraham Shuman Fund, Gift of Marie Sterner Lintott, Gift of the Alexander Shilling Fund, Gift of Samuel H. Walcott, Jr., Gift of a Group of Subscribers, Gift of Edith Conwell Irwin, Bequest of Miss Lucy Ellis, Bequest of Mrs. Henry Lee Higginson, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. M. Dozier Gardner, Gift of Mrs. Elsie Belmont, Gift of Dr. W. F. Wesselhooft, Gift of L. Tenney Thurber, Bequest of Ethelinda Griswold Rice Free, Bequest of Mrs. Clyde Bonebrake, Gift of Miss Emma I. Coleman, Gift of the Reverend and Mrs. Vivian Pomeroy, Gift of Mrs. Leonard E. Opdyke in memory of Clarissa Wolcott Lane, Bequest of Dana Pond, Gift of Arthur Wiesenberger, Gift of Miss Sarah Jane Colburn, Bequest of Miss Helen L. Lawton in memory of her mother, Ida A. Lawton, Gift of Miss Belinda Randall, Bequest of Mrs. Virginia H. Salisbury. Emily L. Ainsley Fund, Gift of James N. Rosenberg, Gift of Francis B. Chadwick, Gift of George C. Shattuck, Gift of the Estate of Julia Ward Howe, Gift of Alfred Hecht, and the Curator's Fund