Many legends surround the Finish-American photographer Kosti Ruohomaa, and it is said his life was “haunted”. Ruohomaa was an award-winning photo journalist who shot iconic portraits of working Americans which appeared in LIFE, National Geographic, and other publications from 1940 to 1960, but Maine was always his favorite subject. Deanna S. Bonner-Ganter, Curator of Photography at the Maine State Museum, has studied Kosti Ruohomaa for twenty years and her biography of Ruohomaa will soon be published by Down East Books. On Thursday, September 24 at 7:00 pm she will give an illustrated talk Close to the Land & Close to the Sea: The Photography of Kosti Ruohomaa at Penobscot Marine Museum’s Douglas and Margaret Carver Memorial Art Gallery, 11 Church Street, Searsport, Maine. Tickets are $8, or $5 for Museum members and Searsport residents.
Close to the Land & Close to the Sea: The Photography of Kosti Ruohomaa is part of Exploring the Magic of Photography: Painting with Light, Penobscot Marine Museum’s first major exhibition of historic photography. It includes four exhibits, a walk-in camera, a wall of selfies taken by museum visitors, and an historic darkroom. The four exhibits, 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 are filled with inter-active opportunities for visitors including life-sized photographic cut-outs with which visitors may photograph themselves, an online exhibit of visitor photographs and comments, and QR codes and tablets providing access to audio clips of interviews, biographies, and commentary by historians, curators and professional photographers.