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Free restored photos for students & teachers
  BBC radio production, Stealing the Glory, a 1/2 hour program in MP3
1932 New York Times interview with Matt Henson

1939 interview with Matt Henson, at his Custom's House job

Links to restored newspaper & magazine articles about Henson, pre WW2
To the North Pole with Matt & Peary! 

2008 Henson Home page (old stuff...)
Henson collectible ripoff on eBay?

Visit the eBay store
for all things Henson

"I expect these to sell fast as my research uncovered that these are museum pieces, highly sought after, and hard to come by! I also found information that these have been "bronzed". I am not an artist and if you are perhaps you know what that means. I beleive it may mean that the plaster cast was dipped in bronze?!?"

Offered at $849
No...it is NOT a museum piece. No it was NOT dipped in bronze. No, the artist did not "sign" it—that's molded into the cast resin.

This high pressure eBay seller wants $850 for one yet I've have never seen these sell for more than $250 in the best condition. The one offered has a lot of dirt lodged in the cracks from being displayed in a home, the label is curling off, etc.

The seller claims the artist signed it by scratching her name in the side. Well, yes...on the original  but the signature is part of the mold. That is the equivalent of a photocopy of a signature (has no value).

The Henson bust was part of a mass produced promotion by bourbon company Old Taylor after the Civil Rights era when "Black History" became popular.

My mother once ordered several—giving me one for Christmas. They only cost $5; which Old Taylor said was "what it costs us."

These busts are molded resin, spray painted to look "antique bronze." Yes it is a Henson collectible...but no its not a bronze museum piece signed by the artist...

Free download (you may have to right click to "Save target as...") of the 1960s Old Taylor (Whiskey) pamphlet for this Matthew Henson bust.

Larger images of the promotional brochure (rare item)

The brochure claims it is "Antique Bronze Cast Stone". It is actually a bronzed appearance (applied patina) to a hard cast material of some sort.

I once found one of these offered on eBay as an "Antique Bronze bust". Upon emailing the seller it was revealed he thought it was actually cast bronze. He was also not aware it was not an antique, either (only 40 years old).

The base was fitted with a paper label biography of Henson. Few of these survived as the paper rubbed of. Nevertheless the text of the biography can be obtained from the original brochure for this series.

The cast material will break apart if the bust is dropped. As a result few of these remain in existence and are thus rarely offered for sale. There were never many to begin with plus many were dropped and smashed.

This is a rare item that deserves to be preserved & displayed. It should be placed in a Plexiglas case for public enjoyment in schools, libraries, etc.

I have restored the 1960s promotional brochure, a rare item in itself. It is about 1.5MB PDF in high resolution print quality. You may make a copy for display in your school, library, or public place of business. Download brochure (you may have to right click "Save target as..." in Windows)

Henson & Peary Naval ships!
Yes, there is a USNS HENSON

National Geographic's tribute to Matthew Henson
By Dolores Johnson—author of Onward, A Photobiography of African American Polar Explorer Matthew Henson
National Geographic Extreme Explorer [More...] Vol. 3, No. 4. January-February 2010.

Dolores Johnson, author of the book Onward has written this excellent summary of the amazing struggle Matthew Henson made to reach the North Pole. Your library may have either the Extreme Explorer magazine, a copy of Onward or they can order them for you. Ask your librarian.

Wonderful images are like frosting on Ms. Johnson's inspiration prose. Snuggle up with your copy and enjoy the read!

Review by Verne Robinson, January 2010
Student artwork celebrates Matt Henson
Arlene Davis' class  • April Russo's class  • Desha Bierbaum's class • Shannon Eagle's class • Elizabeth Campbell's class

Henson's Greenland family, NEWS from Aviaq
Sat, 23 Jan 2010 / From: Martha Galskjær <mgalskjaer@hotmail.com> / Subject: thank you! 

Hello, I wanted to say that this is a beautiful site giving my great great grandfather the credit he deserve. My grandfather is Uusaqqaq Henson from Qaanaaq, Greenland. Growing up I was always told about him, but not until now do i appreciate who and what he was. Reading both the comments and other sites, I realize how much he means to a lot of people and what he has done for history. Thank you to the author of this site! Martha Sara Inge Aviaq Henson Hostrup Galskjaer, Denmark/Ontario, Canada

From: Aviaq Henson / Date: Mon, 9 Mar 2009

Dear Verne,

I have to tell you that only very few people knew about the story of Matthew Henson and Robert Peary and their relatives in Greenland. Because, Greenland is still part of Denmark and when you talk about the story of Thule - Qaanaaq, you will only hear about a Danish explorer Knud Rasmussen.

There are no teaching books in history about Matthew Henson and Robert Peary written in Greenlandic, even though this story is part of the history in Greenland. That is because, unfortunately, the Danish government had not showed interest beside their own history between Greenland and Denmark. But, as I can see the journalists in Greenland show big interest about the story, which I am glad for it and it's makes me happy when people in Greenland starts to asking me about the story when they heard about it.

Aviaq's educational Henson & Peary book
I am thinking about to publish a teaching book in the near future about M. Henson & R. Peary, it is about time that Greenland get to know about the incredible story of Matthew, Robert and descendants in Greenland. On our national day on June 21st 2009 Greenland will become Self-Government, it means we will get more a little of independence as a country, where the politic in Greenland will receive 31 more legislates from Denmark, but legislates as Jura, police and foreign politics will Denmark still keeps.

The step will be a big event for our history in Greenland. And on that day, the national post office Filatelia will publish the stamp of Matthew Henson. We have lots of celebrations this year of 2009.

Greenland's Matthew Henson stamp
As I have mentioned before that the Filatelia at www.stamps.gl will publish a stamp of Matthew Henson, they want me to write an article of Matthew Henson, and I want to ask you to give me permission to use pictures of Matthew Henson and Robert Peary from your website.

Yours sincerely,

Aviaq Henson
Nuuk, Greenland
(above) Aviaq Henson lives in Nuuk, Greenland

(below) Greenland will have self government from Denmark on June 21, 2009. The national post office will issue a Matthew Henson stamp.

Aviaq Henson going to North Pole 2009!

Dear Verne.

100th Anniversary
I have wonderful news about Matthew Henson and his 100th years anniversary. I am going to North Pole! To celebrate with Dr. Allen Counter during his plan. We will be many who will go to North Pole on April 6th 2009. We will be: my father Vittus Henson and his brothers Ajako, Uusaqqak & Qillaq Henson. And Maassannguaq Avataq’s son, our translator Navarana, and two of Robert Peary’s grandchildren and Ootaaqs grandchild will also on journey with us. Otherwise Americans will travel with Dr. Allen Counter. And some journalist will also be on journey.

Matthew Henson Stamp
I have another great news. I have sent a suggestion to Greenland Post (national stamp and post office) to let them publish a stamp of Matthew Henson. And they agree with me, they will publish it on our national day June 21st 2009. The reason I have sent them a suggestion, was that they have published a stamp of Robert Peary in 2005, and I want them to publish of his companion Matthew Henson, because Matthew deserve it as much as Robert Peary.

The year of 2009 is going to be a great year.

Yours sincerely,

Aviaq Henson, Nuuk - Greenland
See also: Aviaq family photos / See also: More about Aviaq

"2009 is going to
be a great year"

Matthew Henson Stamp
I have sent a suggestion to Greenland National stamp and Post Office to let them publish a stamp of Matthew Henson. And they agree with me, they will publish it on our national day
June 21st 2009.


Matthew Henson's grandson Avataq died
Dear Verne, I looked up your posted website about me, wow, it looks great, it is so fun to read about myself on the web. I will send you some pictures after North Pole. And I will send you updates about the trip. Maybe, you can remember that Anaukaq – Matthew’s son have had 5 sons: Avataq, Uusaqqak, Ajako, Vittus and Qillaq, but unfortunately, the oldest son Avataq got in peace this summer, he was 74 years old when he died.

It was sad, if he was still alive, he would join us to the Pole. His son Maassannguaq will go to the North Pole for him. I think we will have lots of memories of Anaukaq and Avataq and not least of Matthew during the event.

I was in Los Angeles in March 2008, what a great country. We were 24 on a study tour from Teachers College in Greenland. When I someday come to California again, maybe I will visit you, It is could be nice if I could see you.

Yours sincerely, Aviaq
About Aviaq Henson
Matthew Henson's direct descendents all live in Greenland. Over 100 years ago Matt Henson and Akatingwah had a son named Anaukaq who married a woman named Aviaq and they had 5 sons. Aviaq was the great mother of the Henson-Inuit family making her name, Aviaq, a very special one. Today Aviaq Henson in Nuuk, Greenland is a daughter of Matt Henson's grandson Vittus Henson. She is training in Greenland to be a teacher, will graduate in 2009. More about Henson family tree...
February 4, 2009

I am a historian in Sydney, Nova Scotia
and will be Commodore of the Royal Cape Breton Yacht Club for 2009. We are planning celebrating the anniversary of Peary's North Pole discovery this summer during the tall ships visit from July 25 to July 27.

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