Contributed by: Maine Historical Society Date: 1909–1966 Location: Portland; Portland Client: Portland Society of Art Architect: John Calvin Stevens
The Cornelius Tarbox, Jr. House, a well-preserved Greek Revival house on Westport Island, has a mystery contained within--a panoramic narrative mural. The floor-to-ceiling mural contains eight painted panels that create a colorful coastal seascape which extends through the front hallway and up the stairwell. The name of the itinerant painter has been lost over time, can you help us solve the mystery of who he or she was?
Portland's growth from 1786 to 1860 spawned a unique social and cultural environment and fostered artistic opportunity and creative expression in a broad range of the arts, which flowered with the increasing wealth and opportunity in the city.
For many different reasons people saved and carefully preserved the objects in this exhibit. Eventually, along with the memories they hold, the objects were passed to the Maine Historical Society. Object and memory, serve as a powerful way to explore history and to connect to the lives of people in the past.
Grade Level: 6-8
Content Area: Visual & Performing Arts
This lesson plan will give students an overview of the creatures that live in the Gulf of Maine, real and imagined. Students will be able to describe the creatures they learn about, first learning simple art skills, and then combining these simple skills to make an Oceanscape picture that is complex.
Grade Level: 6-8, 9-12
Content Area: Social Studies
This lesson plan will give students the opportunity to explore and analyze primary source documents from the years before, during, and immediately after Maine became the 23rd state in the Union. Through close looking at documents, objects, and art from Maine during and around 1820, students will ask questions and draw informed conclusions about life at the time of statehood.
Grade Level: 3-5, 6-8, 9-12
Content Area: Social Studies, Visual & Performing Arts
"In the four quarters of the globe, who reads an American book?" Englishman Sydney Smith's 1820 sneer irked Americans, especially writers such as Irving, Cooper, Hawthorne, and Maine's John Neal, until Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's resounding popularity successfully rebuffed the question. The Bowdoin educated Portland native became the America's first superstar poet, paradoxically loved especially in Britain, even memorialized at Westminster Abbey. He achieved international celebrity with about forty books or translations to his credit between 1830 and 1884, and, like superstars today, his public craved pictures of him. His publishers consequently commissioned Longfellow's portrait more often than his family, and he sat for dozens of original paintings, drawings, and photos during his lifetime, as well as sculptures. Engravers and lithographers printed replicas of the originals as book frontispiece, as illustrations for magazine or newspaper articles, and as post cards or "cabinet" cards handed out to admirers, often autographed. After the poet's death, illustrators continued commercial production of his image for new editions of his writings and coloring books or games such as "Authors," and sculptors commemorated him with busts in Longfellow Schools or full-length figures in town squares. On the simple basis of quantity, the number of reproductions of the Maine native's image arguably marks him as the country's best-known nineteenth century writer. TEACHERS can use this presentation to discuss these themes in art, history, English, or humanities classes, or to lead into the following LESSON PLANS. The plans aim for any 9-12 high school studio art class, but they can also be used in any humanities course, such as literature or history. They can be adapted readily for grades 3-8 as well by modifying instructional language, evaluation rubrics, and targeted Maine Learning Results and by selecting materials for appropriate age level.