The Addison Town Hall is the next stop for Penobscot Marine Museum’s travelling historic photography exhibit “Washington County Through Eastern’s Eye.” The exhibit, a collaboration between the Penobscot Marine Museum and the various historical societies and historians of Washington County, has made stops in Cherryfield, Steuben, Machiasport, Machias and most recently Jonesport. “Washington County Through Eastern’s Eye” features thirty-three historic photographs and an online “virtual exhibit” on Penobscot Marine Museum’s website will feature dozens more photos. The captions for the photographs were researched by Penobscot Marine Museum volunteer Liz Fitzsimmons who worked with individuals and historical societies from virtually every community in Washington County community.
Kevin Johnson, curator and photo archivist for Penobscot Marine Museum, will give an illustrated talk on the Washington County photos at the Pleasant River Historical Society meeting, September 16 at 7:00 pm at the Addison Town Hall. The exhibit was funded in part by a grant from the National Endowment of the Arts and will be the first of four county exhibits the Penobscot Marine Museum will produce.
Penobscot Marine Museum’s Eastern Illustrating & Publishing Company collection is a survey of what nearly every New England town looked like in the first of half the 20th century. The founder of the company, who lived in Belfast, Maine sent his crews with their box cameras into tiny towns all over the region, instructing them to ask local citizens what was important about their town. This is a unique feature of the Eastern collection, giving it great breadth and authenticity.
The Eastern collection is the largest single photographic collection in Maine, consisting of nearly 50,000 images of Maine and the rest of New England and upstate New York. Most of the photos are on glass-plate negatives. The Penobscot Marine Museum is raising funds to acquire more of Eastern’s negatives, and has recently added a searchable database online to their website which includes nearly 30,000 Eastern Illustrating photographs. The Eastern Illustrating & Publishing Company photos, taken a century ago, are aesthetically beautiful to view and are fascinating on many levels for the history and sense of place that they convey. Photo prints are available from the museum, with proceeds from their sale going to expand the collection.
The exhibit will be open to the public Monday through Friday from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm, at the Addison Town hall. Please enter by the rear door to view the exhibit. Call Cathy Fonda at 483-4655 for more information.
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