This winter five Searsport District High School seniors, Connor Fraser, Dylon Grant, Kevin Keniston, Anthony Powers, and Bartley Santos, curated an exhibit, Memoirs of War: A Soldier’s Seabag, which opened this spring at the Penobscot Marine Museum. Working with PMM assistant curator Cipperly Good and SDHS teacher Kathleen Jenkins, the students chose objects from Penobscot Marine Museum’s collection, researched the objects, researched the wars, and interviewed Maine veterans about their war experiences. Using objects the veterans took with them to war and objects they brought back home, this exhibit tells the story of ten Maine veterans’ wartime experiences from WW II to the present. On Wednesday, June 17, 4:00 pm to 5:00 pm, the students, two of whom are joining the Army National Guard this summer, will share with the public the moving stories they discovered while curating the exhibit. In Penobscot Maine Museum’s Douglas and Margaret Carver Memorial Art Gallery, 11 Church Street, Searsport, Maine. Admission is free.
Ralph Stanley: An Eye for Wood is a moving documentary on the extraordinary life of world-renowned Maine Master Boat Builder Ralph Stanley. Stanley, the son of a lobsterman, grew up on Mt. Desert Island and began building wooden boats in the early 1950’s. He has built more than 70 fine wooden boats including working lobster boats, Friendship sloops, lobster boats, yachts, dories, and rowboats. In 1999 Stanley received a National Endowment for the Arts National Heritage Fellowship, recognizing his artistic excellence and contribution to our national traditional arts heritage.Ralph Stanley is well-known not just for his boats, but also as a master story-teller, genealogist, and musician. Award-winning Maine Filmmaker Jeff Dobbs tells the story of the entire Stanley family, their importance to American and Maine craftsmanship, and their way of life on Mount Desert Island and the Cranberry Isles in the twentieth century.
Ralph Stanley: An Eye for Wood, will be shown Thursday, June 4, 7:00 pm in Penobscot Marine Museum’s Douglas and Margaret Carver Memorial Art Gallery, 11 Church Street, Searsport, Maine. Tickets are $8; $5 for museum members. Call 207-548-0334 for tickets or click here to purchase online.
“It’s the town’s DNA, so it really works especially well for Searsport,” says boat building instructor Greg Rossel.
Boat building and sea fairing is the heart of the town’s long history.
High schoolers from Searsport District High School continued that tradition with the launch of three shellback dinghy’s they built themselves.The boat-building class is made possible by Wayne and Lorraine Hamilton.
“Just like math class, you learn a lot more hands on, you’re never bored,” explained 10th grader Cameron Watt.
That hands-on work kept students interested who’d never even thought of boat building.
“It’s pretty interesting actually. You get to build some boats. It’s actually a really hard process. You have to epoxy stuff,” said Rhonda Howard, also a 10th grader.
The idea is to bring together math and science from conventional classes in a real world setting.
“Boat building is a great metaphor for all the classes that they’ve been taking at school, whether it’s math, science, geometry,” Rossel said.
“If we wanted to do this after high school, we could get a job in it because we have some experience,” said Watt.
At the maiden launch there’s always one concern.
“I hope they don’t sink,” said Howard, with a laugh.
Click here to see the video.
A bizarre cage-chair on wheels, built in 1896 as a deterrent to Maine’s hobos, will be on display as part of Penobscot Marine Museum’s 2015 exhibit Exploring the Magic of Photography: Painting with Light. The chair, which is on loan to the Penobscot Marine Museum from the Bangor Historical Society, was designed and apparently used by Oakland, Maine deputy sheriff Sanford J. Baker, but he failed to get the Maine Legislature to adopt it state-wide. The chair was then exhibited during parades as a side-show. Around 1920 a photograph was taken of the chair with a bystander posing inside. This photograph and the chair will both be on exhibit at Penobscot Marine Museum this summer.
“We are grateful to the Bangor Historical Society for the loan of this unusual object, said Kevin Johnson, Penobscot Marine Museum’s photo archivist. “It is exciting to have the real object to exhibit next to the photograph.” The chair currently resides at the Bangor Police Department. It weighs 800 pounds and is being transported by special arrangement with American Concrete Industries in Veazie.
“Sharing pieces of history is an important part of our mission,” Bangor Historical Society Executive Director Melissa Gerety said. “Partnerships like this allow more people a chance to learn about the history of our region.”
The Hobo Chair and photograph are one of many unusual exhibits in Exploring the Magic of Photography: Painting with Light. Museum visitors will be able to walk into a huge camera, step inside an historic darkroom, watch a tintype being made, make a cyanotype photograph, make a pin-hole camera, take a photograph with a pin-hole camera, take photographs of themselves standing beside images of people from the 1880’s, add their own photographs to an online museum exhibit, and add their selfies to the museum’s “Wall of Selfies”. On Friday, May 22nd from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm the public is invited to the opening reception for the 2015 season, which will be held in the newly renovated Visitors Center on the Crescent, 2 Church Street, Searsport. Exploring the Magic of Photography: Painting with Light is at Penobscot Marine Museum May 23 through October 18.
The Bangor Historical Society has been preserving, protecting and sharing the rich history of the Bangor Region since 1864. The BHS is based in the historic Thomas A. Hill House at on the corner of Union and High Streets in Bangor. It houses one of the nation’s largest Civil War collections, a number of items from Bangor businesses and families as well as an extensive photo collection. During the summer season the BHS offers a number of walking tours telling the tales of Bangor and its people. The Bangor Historical Society and Thomas A. Hill House Museum is open Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. beginning June 2nd. Call 942-1900 or visit http://www.bangorhistoricalsociety.org for more information.
Job Description: Penobscot Marine Museum is seeking an Assistant Store Manager for the 2015 season, mid-May to late October. This position will handle daily museum operations including admissions, museum shop and membership sales, security, light housekeeping, and opening and closing the museum. The Assistant Store Manager will be the lead staff person on weekends working with museum interpreters to ensure the smooth operation of the museum, including answering questions, directing inquiries to the correct department and managing the security system.
The Searsport Farmers Market will begin its second season on Tuesday, May 26th, 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm. The market is hosted by Penobscot Marine Museum on the Crescent on Route One, and will be open every Tuesday through mid-October. New vendors to the market this year include Stone Fox Farm Creamery who will be selling their homemade ice cream. The market will offer locally grown vegetables including salad greens, root crops, and fruit; locally grown vegetable and flower seedlings, perennials and shrubs, cut flowers, eggs, chicken, beef, pork, lamb and duck; breads and pies, honey, maple syrup, natural skin care products, and more.
Customers who want to buy directly from local farmers can do so nearly every day of the week in this area. Monday is the Bayside Farmers Market, Tuesday is the Searsport Farmers Market , Thursday is the Bucksport Farmers Market, and Friday is the Belfast Farmers Market.
If you would like more information about the Searsport Farmer’s Market, or would like an application to participate in the market, please call Jim Nichols at 567-3967.
Penobscot Marine Museum opens its 2015 season on May 23 with four major exhibitions of historic photography under the umbrella title Exploring the Magic of Photography: Painting with Light. The campus will be filled with hands-on activities. Museum visitors will be able to walk into a huge camera, step inside an historic darkroom, watch a tintype being made, make a cyanotype photograph, make a pin-hole camera, take a photograph with a pin-hole camera, take photographs of themselves standing beside images of people from the 1880’s, add their own photographs to an online museum exhibit, and add their selfies to the museum’s “Wall of Selfies”. Audio clips of interviews, biographies, and commentaries by historians, curators and professional photographers will be available to visitors on their mobile devices through QR codes, and on tablets in the exhibits.
The four exhibits in Exploring the Magic of Photography are Through Her Lens: Women Photographers of Mid-Coast Maine, 1890-1920; Twenty Best; Evolution of the Photographic Snapshot: 1888-2015; and The Carters and the Lukes – Selections from the Red Boutilier Collection. On Friday, May 22nd from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm the public is invited to the opening reception for the 2015 season, which will be held in the newly renovated Visitors Center on the Crescent, 2 Church Street, Searsport.
Through Her Lens: Women Photographers of Mid-Coast Maine, 1890-1920 explores the pioneering work of five women photographers who excelled in a field dominated by men. Ruth Montgomery and Joanna Colcord grew up sailing around the world with their sea captain fathers. While on board ship they taught themselves the craft of photography and documented life at sea and life in the countries to which they sailed. Evie Barbour’s photographer husband had a business producing photographic postcards. She helped him with the business, and when he died in 1907 she was able to take it over and support herself and her children. Ida Crie photographed her native city of Rockland, creating a loving portrait and important historic document of the way Rockland was at the turn of the century. Harriet Hitchborn grew up in Stockton Springs and developed her own successful postcard business.
Twenty Best, an exhibit of the twenty most fascinating photographs in the Penobscot Marine Museum collection, includes a photograph of the Great Bangor Fire of 1911 which destroyed much of the city, the earliest known photograph of Searsport, and an unusual ambrotype circa 1870 of a Chinese steward. Also included are photographs by the legendary Finnish-American photo-journalist Kosti Rhuohoma, who shot iconic portraits of working Americans which appeared in LIFE, National Geographic and other publications from 1940 to 1960.
Evolution of the Photographic Snapshot: 1888-2015 explores the snapshot as a self-portrait of our culture. In the 1800’s cameras were expensive and photography was the work of professionals, but when Eastman Kodak introduced the inexpensive Brownie camera in 1900 suddenly everyone had a camera in their hand. What do we photograph and why, and what do the snapshots we take tell us about ourselves? This exhibit is guest curated by retired Beloit College professor Michael Simon.
The Carters and the Lukes – Selections from the Red Boutilier Collection is an intimate portrait of two families of boat builders, one who built traditional wooden lobster boats for local fishermen and the other an innovator in the custom yacht business. These photographs, taken during the 1960’s and 1970’s, celebrate the uniquely Maine way of life of the Luke family in East Boothbay and the Carter family in Waldoboro. Photographer Red Boutilier captured an era in Maine boat building which set the standards for today’s Maine boat builders’ international reputation for excellence.
Exploring the Magic of Photography: Painting with Light is part of the Maine Photo Project, a year-long statewide celebration of photography in Maine in 2015. This collaboration of twenty-six cultural organizations offers exhibitions, a major publication, and a variety of programs exploring the state’s role as inspiration for photographers.
Two additional exhibits round out the 2015 season. Disorganized and Defeated: The Battle for Penobscot Bay 1779 displays for the first time the Museum’s newly acquired court-martial papers of Commodore Dudley Saltonstall. The exhibit examines the effects of the Revolutionary War on the citizens of Penobscot Bay. This exhibit complements the replica of the Revolutionary War period frigate L’HERMIONE’s arrival in Castine Harbor. Memoirs of War: A Soldier’s Seabag tells the story through their mementos and souvenirs of ten Maine veterans’ wartime experiences from WW II to the present. This exhibit was designed and curated by the Senior Class of Searsport District High School.
Penobscot Marine Museum is grateful to the following individuals and organizations, without whose support Exploring the Magic of Photography would not have been possible: John Bielenberg for designing and building, with Richard Mann, the camera obscura; Maine Humanities Council for their grant funding Through Her Lens; Maine Humanities Council and Maine Arts Commission for funding The Maine Frontier and Make a Cyanotype; Alice Knight and Stockton Springs Historical Society for loans of photographs for Through Her Lens; Libby Bischoff and Maizie Hough for consulting on Through Her Lens; Liz Fitzsimmons for researching and interviewing The Carters and the Lukes; Earle G. Shettleworth, Jr., Britta Konau, Brenton Hamilton, and Maynard Bray for commentary on Twenty Best; Alice Knight, Silvia Wardwell, Betty Schopmeyer, Dan Harrison and Beverly Mann for commentary on Through Her Lens; and Betty Shopmeyer for scene painting. A special thank you to Dave Johnson for the gardens and for construction and painting to Paul Jean, Jeff Dorr, John Ward, Brian Marquis and to Tom Preble for making it happen.
About Penobscot Marine Museum
Penobscot Marine Museum is located on Route One in the historic seacoast village of Searsport, Maine. The permanent exhibits include a ship captain’s house, an exquisite collection of Buttersworth marine paintings, scrimshaw, 19th century Chinese and Japanese pottery, paintings and textiles, traditional small water craft, a fisheries exhibit, and an heirloom vegetable garden. The museum has over 140,000 historic photographs, and a maritime history research library. Eight of its twelve exhibit buildings are on the National Register of Historic Places. The Museum is open seven days a week, Memorial Day weekend through the third weekend in October. Museum hours are Monday – Saturday 10:00 am to 5:00 pm, and Sunday noon – 5:00 pm. For more information go to www.penobscotmarinemuseum.org, call the Visitors Center 207-548-0334 or offices at 207-548-2529.
At noon on Thursday, May 21, two Shellback Dinghies made by students at Searsport District High School will be launched into Searsport Harbor at the Town Dock. The students have spent the past eighteen weeks building the dinghies with master boat builder Greg Rossel for their class Building a Shellback Dinghy: An Integrated Field Approach to Core Math & Science Standard. As they build the boats, the students explore marine physics and engineering concepts, Newton’s laws of motion, traditional and modern wood working, chemical reactions, and navigation. The class is in its fourth year and is a collaboration between the Penobscot Marine Museum and the Searsport District High School. It is held at Museum’s Hamilton Learning Center in Searsport. The Shellback Dinghy which the students build is a small sail boat designed by E.B. White’s son Joel White. After the launch the boats are sold and the proceeds used to fund the next year’s class.
Greg Rossel, who has been teaching boat building at WoodenBoat School for over twenty years, has help each week from community volunteers Fred Kircheis, Fred Schmidt, Bruce Brown, Rick Fitzsimmons, Rob Giffin, David Lawrence, Gerry Saunders, Pete Jenkins, and Dan Merrill. Wayne Hamilton, owner of Hamilton Marine, teaches a navigation class, and the students travel to Camden to work with sailmaker Grant Gambell to make sails for the dinghies. The class would not be possible without local businesses who donate time and materials: Gambell and Hunter Sailmakers, Hamilton Marine, Epifanes, Maine Coast Lumber, WoodenBoat Store, Chesapeake Light Craft, George Kirby Jr Paint Company.
Photos and Text by Gabor Degre of The Bangor Daily News
Did you ever wonder how cameras work? With the marvel of digital equipment, it seems almost like magic. You push a button and the image appears instantly. Photo archivists with the Penobscot Marine MuseumKevin Johnson and Matt Wheeler came up with the idea of having a very large camera obscura built, allowing people to walk inside to experience first hand how the image is created and the basic concept of how cameras work.
The first written record about viewing an image like that dates back roughly 2,400 years in China. Later, Aristotle wrote about the use of the principal of the camera obscura , while observing a partial solar eclipse. In the 13th century Leonardo da Vinci gave a detailed description, and using a pinhole camera, in the mid-1820’s Joseph Niepce, a French inventor, captured the first known photograph on bitumen-coated metal plate.
You might be surprised that the principal of the camera remains the same today. With the advancement of technology, pinholes were replaced by lenses made of very high quality glass, to project a tack-sharp image. The recording of that image also went through several changes and now a computer captures the image with the aid of sensors, that replaced the light sensitive materials.
Read the full story at the Bangor Daily News.
First Major Exhibition of Penobscot Marine Museum’s Photography Collection Opening in 2015
May 23 through October 18, 2015
In 2007 a group of 35,000 historic glass plate negatives and photographs were rescued from a flood by Kevin Johnson. Johnson then brought them to Penobscot Marine Museum for preservation, and become the museum’s Photography Archivist. Since then tens of thousands of negatives, prints, slides, postcards and daguerreotypes of images taken around the world have poured into the collection, making Penobscot Marine Museum’s historical photography collection one of the largest and most comprehensive in New England. Exploring the Magic of Photography: Painting with Light is the museum’s first major exhibition utilizing this photography collection. The exhibit will open at Penobscot Marine Museum in Searsport, Maine on May 23 and continue through October 18, 2015.
Exploring the Magic of Photography: Painting with Light is a campus-wide installation of multiple inter-active exhibits: a “selfie” wall on which visitors can post their “selfie” taken in the museum; a room-sized walk-in camera obscura in which visitors can experience firsthand how light traveling through a lens creates an image; a replica of an early 20th century darkroom complete with a glass plate negative enlarger; Through Her Lens: Women Photographers of Mid-Coast Maine, 1890-1920: an exhibit exploring the work of five women photographers; Twenty Best, the twenty most fascinating photographs in the collection, with an audio tour; Evolution of the Photographic Snapshot: 1888-2015, curated by retired photography professor Michael Simon; The Carters and the Lukes – Selections from the Red Boutilier Collection is an intimate portrait of two families of boat builders, one who built traditional wooden lobster boats for local fishermen and the other an innovator in the custom yacht business. These photographs, taken during the 1960’s and 1970’s, celebrate the uniquely Maine way of life of the Luke family in East Boothbay and the Carter family in Waldoboro. Photographer Red Boutilier captured an era in Maine boat building which set the standards for today’s Maine boat builders’ international reputation for excellence.
Exhibition events include a film screening of The Maine Frontier: Through The Lens Of Isaac Walton Simpson with a companion multimedia presentation by filmmaker Sumner McKane; cyanotype-making workshops; pin-hole camera making workshops; tin-type demonstrations; and backdrops enabling visitors to take photographs of themselves “inside” historic photographs.
Exploring the Magic of Photography: Painting with Light is part of the Maine Photo Project (www.mainephotoproject.org), a year-long statewide celebration of photography in Maine, beginning in January 2015. This collaboration of twenty-six cultural organizations will offer exhibitions, a major publication, and a variety of programs exploring the state’s role as inspiration for photographers.
Through Her Lens: Women Photographers of Mid-Coast Maine, 1890-1920 is supported by a grant from the Maine Humanities Foundation.