News at the Museum

To receive press releases or for more information, contact Kathy Goldner, External Relations Director, kgoldner@pmm-maine.org or 207-548-2529 ext. 216.

Vintage Photos And Contemporary Art Come Together In Unusual Penobscot Marine Museum Exhibit

On view at PMM from May 28 through October 16, 2016

Mary Bourke, Bathers, acrylic on birch panel, 2015, 18 by 18 inches

Mary Bourke, Bathers, acrylic on birch panel, 2015, 18 by 18 inches

As part of its Wish You Were Here: Communicating Maine summer programming, the Penobscot Marine Museum will present Maine: A Continuum of Place in the Main Street Gallery, May 28 to October 16. An opening reception for the show, with Guest Curator Carl Little, is planned for Friday, May 27, from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. The public is invited to attend.

Carl Little, author of Paintings of Maine, Art of the Maine Islands and other books, chose vintage photographs and postcards of coastal Maine from the Penobscot Marine Museum’s collection and paired them with images of those places by contemporary Maine artists. The photographs, which will have been enlarged, and the artworks will be displayed side by side.

Pairing PMM’s Three Bathers photo with Bourke Bathers

Pairing PMM’s Three Bathers photo with Bourke Bathers

“Pairing vintage photographs with modern-day paintings of similar subjects by artists active today was not only great fun, but also a way to highlight what I call the ‘continuum of place,’ ” says Little. “Maine’s landscape has inspired a remarkable sense of place over the past 150 years,” he notes, “and that vibrant tradition continues today.” The exhibition features the work of 17 artists from across Maine: Joel Babb, Susan Lewis Baines, Nancy Morgan Barnes, Mary Bourke, Sam Cady, Alison Goodwin, Philip Frey, Liddy Hubbell, Tina Ingraham, Ben Lincoln, Jeff Loxterkamp, Caren-Marie Michel, Linda Norton, Winslow Myers, Karen Spitfire, Jude Valentine, and David Vickery.

In honor of the 100th anniversary of “Maine Postcard Day”, Penobscot Marine Museum’s 2016 series of exhibits Wish You Were Here: Communicating Maine presents a hundred years of images which have been used to communicate the unique qualities of Maine to the outside world. Using postcards, photography, and contemporary art, these exhibits explore the changes which have taken place in the images which have we have used to communicate “Maine”.


Alamo Theater Presents Talk On Historic Photographs And Film Of Bucksport

Main Street Bucksport, Penobscot Marine Museum Photo Archive

Main Street Bucksport, Penobscot Marine Museum Photo Archive

Historic photographs and vintage film footage of Bucksport from the late 19th and early 20th centuries will be presented by Penobscot Marine Museum’s Kevin Johnson and Brook Minner of Northeast Historic Film Archive on Thursday, May 12, 6:00 pm at Alamo Theater, 85 Main Street, Bucksport.

The photographs presented in the talk by Kevin Johnson will be of people and places which were important to the residents of Bucksport between 1909 and 1947. They were taken by a Belfast, Maine postcard company, Eastern Illustrating & Publishing Company, which sent their photographers driving across Maine in Model T’s with their box cameras to ask what the local citizens loved about their area. The photographs presented in the talk are part of Hancock County Through Eastern’s Eye, one of several travelling exhibits from the Penobscot Marine Museum photography archive. It is on display through the end of May at Bucksport Heart and Soul in the Rosen Building, 72 Main Street, Bucksport. Brook Minner, Executive Director of Northeast Historic Film Archive, will show historic film footage of Bucksport from their collection.

For more information on the talk call Kevin Johnson at 207-548-2529 ext. 210. For more information on the exhibit call Rich Rotella at 207- 949-1889.


Wine Tasting Event to Benefit Penobscot Marine Museum

Taste delicious locally crafted wine Thursday, April 21st from 5-7 pm at The Good Kettle in Stockton Springs. The wine tasting event will introduce you to Maine vineyards from across the state, with 10 % of the proceeds benefiting the Penobscot Marine Museum.

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The Good Kettle offers a wide selection of wine for a range of budgets and tastes, and a variety of choices from local wines to some of the best wines from all over the world. The Good Kettle hosts a wine tasting benefit for area non-profits once a month from April to December featuring local wineries.

Located on 247 US Route 1 in Stockton Springs, The Good Kettle is a Home Style Eat-In or Carry Out restaurant offering a wines and beer, Maine-made local products, and breakfast and lunch.

For more information contact The Good Kettle at 207.567.2035 or info@thegoodkettle.com or visit https://thegoodkettle.wordpress.com.


Experience Maritime Maine To Hold Stakeholder Meeting In April

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Experience Maritime Maine, a partnership of maritime-related organizations, businesses, and coastal communities working together to promote and preserve Maine’s unique maritime culture through heritage tourism efforts, is having its third bi-annual Stakeholder Meeting Thursday, April 7, from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm at the Sail, Power & Steam Museum, 75 Mechanic Street, Rockland, Maine. Guest speakers are Kerry Altiero, Chef/Owner of Cafe Miranda, and Olga Oros and Chip Holmes of Damariscotta River Cruises. For more information or to RSVP email info@experiencemaritimemaine.org. The meeting is open to anyone with a stake or an interest in Maine maritime cultural heritage tourism

Experience Maritime Maine promotes Maine’s maritime experiences on the website at www.experiencemaritimemaine.org and through social media. They are designing a rack card for spring 2016, are promoting Maine’s maritime experiences nationally at Maine Office of Tourism’s Maine Media Marketplace in NYC this spring, are producing audio podcasts of maritime stories in six coastal Maine communities, and are planning maritime trip itineraries.

Experience Maritime Maine is a loose partnership in which all stakeholders are encouraged to participate. The Coordinating Committee currently includes Abbe Museum, Downeast Acadia Regional Tourism, Downeast Fisheries Trail, Greater Portland Convention & Visitors Bureau, Island Institute, Maine Archives and Museums, Maine Maritime Museum, Maine Sea Grant, Maine Office of Tourism, Maine Tourism Association, Maine Windjammer Association, Penobscot Marine Museum, Tides Institute , Washington County Council of Governments, and WoodenBoat School, and meets monthly.

Experience Maritime Maine’s major funders are Elmina B. Sewall Foundation, Maine Office of Tourism, and Maine Community Foundation. Partner funders are Downeast Acadia Region, Maine Maritime Museum, Mid-Coast Chamber Council, Maine Windjammer Association, Penobscot Marine Museum, Tides Institute, and WoodenBoat School.


Seabird Guano Bottle From Penobscot Marine Museum At Smithsonian

Penobscot Marine Museum’s Guano Bottle c. 1880.

Penobscot Marine Museum’s Guano Bottle c. 1880.

A bottle filled with colored seabird guano (droppings) from Penobscot Marine Museum’s collection is currently on display in the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C. The bottle is part of the exhibit The Norie Marine Atlas & Guano Trade which runs now through January 2017.

“This is a very rare object, I know of only one other like it,” reports PMM’s Collections Manager Cipperly Good. “When I heard that the Smithsonian was looking for guano objects for their exhibit, we were pleased to be able to loan them our bottle.” The bottle may have been made by Chinese guano miners to commemorate a voyage by the Searsport-owned ship HENRIETTA to Peru around 1880. Many Maine ships sailed to Peru for the guano trade which began in the early 19th century. Guano was thought to be the best fertilizer in the world, and Americans, British, and Germans flocked to the Chincha Islands off the coast of Peru to mine it. Dropping deposits from the seabirds on these islands reached up to 200 feet, however by the end of the 19th century, the guano was effectively depleted. Several Penobscot Marine Museum staff are travelling to Washington, D.C. for a special tour of the exhibit with National Museum of American History’s curator Paul Johnston.


2016 Governor’s Conference On Tourism To Feature Postcards From Penobscot Marine Museum

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In cooperation with the Penobscot Marine Museum’s 2016 Postcard Project, The Maine Office of Tourism will showcase 8 postcards from 1916, selected from the museum’s archives, at the 2016 Governor’s Conference on Tourism on March 21 and 22 at Sunday River Resort.

The Maine Office of Tourism chose one postcard from the museum’s collection for each of Maine’s eight tourism regions: The Maine Beaches, Greater Portland and Casco Bay, the Mid-Coast region, Maine’s Lakes and Mountains, the Maine Highlands region, the Kennebec Valley region, the DownEast and Acadia region, and Aroostook County. Each of the hundreds of attendees will receive a pack of postcards at the conference, and posting stations will be set up where the attendees will be encouraged to write and post the cards.

One PMM Postcard image for 2016 Governor’s Conference on Tourism

One PMM Postcard image for 2016 Governor’s Conference on Tourism

Wish You Were Here: Communicating Maine, Penobscot Marine Museum’s 2016 series of exhibitions and community projects explores a hundred years of images which have been used to communicate the unique qualities of Maine to the outside world. With photographic postcards, photography, and contemporary art, this exhibit explores the changes which have taken place in the images which have been used to communicate “Maine”.

Community Project: Penobscot Marine Museum is collaborating with the Maine State Library system to distribute postcards with historic images of Maine from the museum’s photography collection to libraries across the state for patrons to mail during Library Week, April 10th through 16th.

Exhibit: Historic Maine, a Postcard View
This exhibit presents a history of the postcard, and takes a closer look at postcards produced by three Maine photographic postcard companies. Postcards produced by Evie Barbour, who photographed the Blue Hill area with a box camera, and the Cunningham Brothers who photographed the area around Washington, Maine combine with images from the Eastern Illustrating and Publishing Company to create a highly personal and intimate portrait of Maine. The exhibit includes oral histories of Mainers talking about the treasured places seen in these postcards, a trailer for a documentary on Eastern Illustrating and Publishing Company by Maine filmmaker Sumner McKane, a Model T outfitted with contemporaneous photography equipment, and the museums’ gigantic walk-in camera obscura which demonstrates the inside workings of a nineteenth-century camera.

Exhibit: Acadia National Park, a Postcard View
Penobscot Marine Museum joins the Acadia Centennial celebration with an exhibit of fifty years of Acadia National Park in postcards.

Exhibit: Maine’s Changing Sense of Place
Maine’s unique sense of place has been portrayed over the years by artists such as Winslow Homer and Andrew Wyeth, and today Maine is known for its vibrant art scene. To understand how images of sense of place can change over the years, guest curator Carl Little, author of Paintings of Maine and Art of the Maine Islands, chose photographs of special places from the Penobscot Marine Museum’s collection, and chose artwork by Maine artists which was inspired by these special places. The historic photograph and the contemporary art work will be displayed side by side.

Community Project: Photoplay! Postcards by M.J. Bronstein
Artist M.J. Bronstein has created postcards using historic images from Penobscot Marine Museum’s photography collection. These postcards are designed for the museum visitor to be able to draw on them, adding to the historic photo. Each postcard becomes a unique creation for museum visitors to send to their friends.


Penobscot Marine Museum Celebrates Maine’s Sense Of Place

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On view at PMM from May 28 through October 16, 2016

Inspired by the 100th anniversary of “Maine Postcard Day”, Penobscot Marine Museum presents Wish You Were Here: Communicating Maine, a hundred years of images which have been used to communicate the unique qualities of Maine to the outside world. With photographic postcards, photography, and contemporary art, this exhibit explores the changes which have taken place in the images which have been used to communicate “Maine”.

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Community Project: Celebrating the 100th Anniversary of Maine Post Card Day with Maine Libraries

Postcards were the Facebook and Twitter of their age. An estimated 200 to 300 billion postcards were produced and mailed world-wide from the 1890’s to the 1920’s and one of Penobscot Marine Museum’s major photography collections was produced by Eastern Illustrating and Publishing Company, an early Maine postcard company. In 1916 Maine Governor Oakley C. Curtis proclaimed April 19th “Post Card Day” and issued a proclamation asking all Maine citizens to send a postcard of Maine to friends and family outside the state with the message “Come to Maine.” A petition has been sent to Governor Le Page’s office requesting that April 19, 2016 be proclaimed “Postcard Day” in celebration of the 100th anniversary of Maine’s Post Card Day. Penobscot Marine Museum is collaborating with the Maine State Library system to distribute postcards with historic images of Maine from the museum’s photography collection to libraries across the state for patrons to mail during Library Week, April 10th through 16th.

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Exhibit: Historic Maine, a Postcard View

This exhibit presents a history of the postcard, and takes a closer look at postcards produced by three Maine photographic postcard companies. The postcard craze in America, roughly 1905 to 1915, prompted the founding of many postcard companies across the country and in Maine. The vast majority of these American companies had their postcards mass-produced in Europe, but Eastern Illustrating and Publishing Company in Belfast, made “real photo” postcards with crisper images using a labor-intensive darkroom process.

Eastern Illustrating and Publishing Company photographers travelled across New England in Model Ts shooting scenes of small towns and rural life often overlooked by larger postcard companies. Postcards produced by Evie Barbour, who photographed the Blue Hill area with a box camera, and the Cunningham Brothers who photographed the area around Washington, Maine combine with images from the Eastern Illustrating and Publishing Company to create a highly personal and intimate portrait of Maine.

The exhibit includes oral histories of Mainers talking about the treasured places seen in these postcards, a trailer for a documentary on Eastern Illustrating and Publishing Company by Maine filmmaker Sumner McKane, a Model T outfitted with contemporaneous photography equipment, and the museums’ gigantic walk-in camera obscura which demonstrates the inside workings of a nineteenth-century camera.

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Exhibit: Acadia National Park, a Postcard View

Acadia National Park was founded 100 years ago to preserve its extraordinary sense of place. It has long been the most famous and most visited place in Maine and has been the subject of tens of thousands of postcards. Penobscot Marine Museum joins the Acadia Centennial celebration with an exhibit of fifty years of Acadia National Park in postcards. The images are all from the Belfast-based Eastern Illustrating & Publishing Company, the largest manufacturer of “real-photo postcards” in the United States. The exhibit shows how popular taste changes over time even as the actual landscape does not.

Exhibit: Maine: A Continuum of Place

“For all of us have our loved places; all of us have laid claim to part of the earth;
and all of us, whether we know it or not, are in some measure the products of our sense of place.”
—Alan Gussow, A Sense of Place: The Artist and the American Land, 1971

Maine’s landscape has inspired a remarkable sense of place over the past 150 years. Artists such as Frederic Church, Winslow Homer, Marguerite Zorach, and Andrew Wyeth have responded to its special qualities, including its coastline and islands. That vibrant tradition continues today. To highlight how artists’ sense of place has changed over time yet represents a continuum, guest curator Carl Little, author of Paintings of Maine and Art of the Maine Islands, chose photographs and postcards of coastal Maine from the Penobscot Marine Museum’s collection and paired them with images of those places by contemporary artists. The historic photographs and the contemporary artworks will be displayed side by side.

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Community Project: Photoplay! Postcards by M.J. Bronstein

Artist M.J. Bronstein has created postcards using historic images from Penobscot Marine Museum’s photography collection. These postcards are designed for the museum visitor to be able to draw on them, adding to the historic photo. Each postcard becomes a unique creation for museum visitors to send to their friends.

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Behind the Scene: Why Postcards?

Penobscot Marine Museum’s photography collection was started with a group of Eastern Illustrating and Publishing Company postcard glass-plate negatives which were rescued from a flood and brought to Penobscot Marine Museum for preservation. Penobscot Marine Museum now has 50,000 of the company’s negatives, the largest Eastern Illustrating and Publishing Company collection under one roof, as well as several hundred additional postcard negatives, and around 4,000 postcards.

Collecting postcards, deltiology, is the third largest “collectible” hobby in the world. Sending postcards is enjoying resurgence. In 2005 a man in Portugal founded an organization called Postcrossing which allows people to exchange postcards worldwide. This website, www.postcrossing.com, now has over 570,000 participating members across 215 countries and in ten years, over 31 million postcards have been sent around the world.

Postcards are studied by sociologists and art historians. The Smithsonian Institution currently has an online postcards exhibit “Greetings From the Smithsonian”. In 2009 the Metropolitan Museum of Art exhibited a collection of postcards in “Walker Evans and the Picture Postcard,” and the Boston Museum of Fine Arts followed suit with “The Postcard Age: Selections From the Leonard A. Lauder Collection” in 2012.


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