Burn-Murdoch, William Gordon (1862-1939) by Scholes, Robert

William Gordon Burn-Murdoch (1862 – 1939)

Born in Scotland, he was educated in Edinburgh and then studied at the Antwerp Academy under Verlat, in Paris under Carolus-Duran, and in Italy and Spain. He also became involved in some of the polar expeditions of his friend William S Bruce. They had first met as university students in Edinburgh, after which Burn-Murdoch managed (at the last moment) to travel as Bruce’s assistant as naturalist and surgeon on the whaling-barque Balaena on the Dundee Antarctic Expedition of 1892-93. In his paintings Burn-Murdoch depicted many of the scenes during the voyage, starting immediately with the departure from Camperdown dock. Burn-Murdoch was a piper, so the theme of piping in polar environments, and the interaction with polar wildlife was often a subject of his artistic work. He wrote of his experiences in several books, including From Edinburgh to the Antarctic.

Back to top

Back to Top