Picturing Henry

Text by John Mayer and Candace Kanes

Images from Maine Historical Society, Longfellow National Historic Site, Bowdoin College Library and Bowdoin College Museum of Art

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was born in Portland on Feb. 27, 1807, and here established his early interest in poetry and literature.

He published his first poem at age 13 in the Portland Gazette and his first book of poetry in 1833, when he was 26.

He wrote and published throughout his life with many of his works becoming significant expressions of American life.

This selection of images captures the changing way Longfellow was seen by the public as well as the public demand for images of the beloved poet. The prints, photographs and paintings clearly document the aging of Longfellow, probably best recognized from later portraits with his full white beard.

This online exhibit is an expanded version of a gallery exhibit at the Maine Historical Society (February-June 2007) and part of the celebration of the 200th birthday of the noted poet.

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