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Online Exhibits

Your results include these online exhibits. You also can view all of the site's exhibits, view a timeline of selected events in Maine History, and learn how to create your own exhibit. See featured exhibits or create your own exhibit


Exhibit

Mural mystery in Westport Island's Cornelius Tarbox, Jr. House

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?

Exhibit

Lt. Charles Bridges: Getting Ahead in the Army

Sgt. Charles Bridges of Co. B of the 2nd Maine Infantry was close to the end of his two years' enlistment in early 1863 when he took advantage of an opportunity for advancement by seeking and getting a commission as an officer in the 3rd Regiment U.S. Volunteers.

Exhibit

World War I and the Maine Experience

With a long history of patriotism and service, Maine experienced the war in a truly distinct way. Its individual experiences tell the story of not only what it means to be an American, but what it means to be from Maine during the war to end all wars.

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Women, War, and the Homefront

When America entered the Great War in 1917, the government sent out pleas for help from American women, many of whom responded at the battle front and on the home front.

Exhibit

Fashionable Maine: early twentieth century clothing

Maine residents kept pace with the dramatic shift in women’s dress that occurred during the short number of years preceding and immediately following World War I. The long restrictive skirts, stiff collars, body molding corsets and formal behavior of earlier decades quickly faded away and the new straight, dropped waist easy-to-wear clothing gave mobility and freedom of movement in tune with the young independent women of the casual, post-war jazz age generation.

Exhibit

Sylvan Site: A Model Development

Frederick Wheeler Hinckley, a Portland lawyer and politician, had grand visions of a 200-home development when he began the Sylvan Site in South Portland in 1917. The stock market crash in 1929 put a halt to his plans, but by then he had built 37, no two of which were alike.

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Northern Threads: Bustle era fashions

A themed vignette within "Northern Threads Part I," featuring 1870s and 80s era bustle silhouettes.

Exhibit

Northern Threads: Silhouettes in Sequence, ca. 1780-1889

A themed exhibit vignette within "Northern Threads Part I," featuring a timeline of silhouettes from about 1775 through 1889.

Exhibit

Chansonetta Stanley Emmons: Staging the Past

Chansonetta Stanley Emmons (1858-1937) of Kingfield, Maine, experimented with the burgeoning artform of photography. Starting in 1897, Emmons documented the lives of people, many in rural and agricultural regions in Maine and around the world. Often described as recalling a bygone era, this exhibition features glass plate negatives and painted lantern slides from the collections of the Stanley Museum in Kingfield on deposit at Maine Historical Society, that present a time of rapid change, from 1897 to 1926.

Exhibit

Maine Through the Eyes of George W. French

George French, a native of Kezar Falls and graduate of Bates College, worked at several jobs before turning to photography as his career. He served for many years as photographer for the Maine Development Commission, taking pictures intended to promote both development and tourism.

Exhibit

Indians, Furs, and Economics

When Europeans arrived in North America and disrupted traditional Native American patterns of life, they also offered other opportunities: trade goods for furs. The fur trade had mixed results for the Wabanaki.

Exhibit

Cosmopolitan stylings of Mildred and Madeleine Burrage

Born in Portland, sisters Mildred Giddings Burrage (1890-1983) and Madeleine Burrage (1891-1976) were renowned artists and world travelers. Mildred's experiences studying painting in Paris and Italy, and the sisters' trips to Mexico and Guatemala inspired their artwork and shared passions for cosmopolitan and stylish attire. Housed at Maine Historical Society, The Burrage Papers include selections of original advertising drawings called "line sheets" from Parisian fashion houses dating from 1928 to 1936. Images of Madeleine's gemstone jewelry and Mildred's artwork accompany intimate family photographs of the sisters.

Exhibit

Art of the People: Folk Art in Maine

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.

Exhibit

Northern Threads: Civil War-era clothing

An exhibit vignette within "Northern Threads, Part 1," featuring American Civil War civilian and military clothing, 1860 to 1869.

Exhibit

Les Raquetteurs

In the early 1600s, French explorers and colonizers in the New World quickly adopted a Native American mode of transportation to get around during the harsh winter months: the snowshoe. Most Northern societies had some form of snowshoe, but the Native Americans turned it into a highly functional item. French settlers named snowshoes "raquettes" because they resembled the tennis racket then in use.

Exhibit

Selections from the Collections

Maine Historical Society staff come across unique and unforgettable items in our collections every day. While it's difficult to choose favorites from a dynamic collection, this exhibit features memorable highlights as selected by members of the MHS staff.

Exhibit

Northern Threads: Outerwear, Militia & Cadet uniforms

A themed vignette within "Northern Threads Part I," featuring 19th century outerwear, bonnets, militia and cadet uniforms.

Exhibit

Northern Threads: Penobscot mocassins

A themed exhibit vignette within "Northern Threads, Part I," about telling stories through Indigenous clothing, featuring an essay by Jennifer Sapiel Neptune (Penobscot.)

Exhibit

Rum, Riot, and Reform - Business as Usual

"… barroom image of the late 19th century was a colorful, inaccurate nod to macho patrons, believed to have come from Donahue's bar in Portland."

Exhibit

Music in Maine - Community and School Marching Bands

"… own A flag, not for its beauty alone, She took a color that her aim And noble purpose bid her claim..." Goldthwaite wrote other school songs…"

Exhibit

West Baldwin Methodist Church

The West Baldwin Methodist Church, founded in 1826, was one of three original churches in Baldwin. While its location has remained the same, the church has undergone numerous changes to serve the changing community.

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Northern Threads: Two centuries of dress at Maine Historical

Organized by themed vignettes, Northern Threads shares stories about Maine people, while exploring how the clothing they wore reveals social, economic, and environmental histories. This re-examination of Maine Historical Society's permanent collection is an opportunity to consider the relevance of historic clothing in museums, the ebb and flow of fashion styles, and the complexities of diverse representation spanning 200 years of collecting.

Exhibit

Fashion for the People: Maine's Graphic Tees

From their humble beginnings as undergarments to today's fashion runways, t-shirts have evolved into universally worn wardrobe staples. Original graphic t-shirts, graphic t-shirt quilts, and photographs trace the 102-year history of the garment, demonstrating how, through the act of wearing graphic tees, people own a part of history relating to politics, social justice, economics, and commemorative events in Maine.

Exhibit

Eternal Images: Photographing Childhood

From the earliest days of photography doting parents from across Maine sought to capture images of their young children. The studio photographs often reflect the families' images of themselves and their status or desired status.