Maine Historical Society



Current Exhibitions

Admission to gallery: Free for MHS members. Non-Members: Adults - $8.00; Students with ID, Seniors & AAA members - $7.00; Children 6-17: $3; 5 and under, free.
Hours and Directions

Designing Acadia: Creating Maine's National Park Experience

Exhibition on view June 17, 2016 through January 14, 2017
MHS Gallery

On the Scenic Cadillac Mt. Road, Bar Harbor, ca. 1935

For one hundred years, Acadia National Park has captured the American imagination and stood as the most recognizable symbol of Maine's important natural history and identity. Tourists traveled to Mount Desert Island for decades before the creation of our national park system to experience and enjoy nature. But most do not realize that experience has been purposefully designed. The design of the park as a public space sought to create vistas, sight lines, and diverse opportunities for visitors to experience Mt. Desert Island's special and varied landscape. From the breathtaking views, to the roads and trails we use today, each section of the Park was carefully considered to both protect the environment and to enhance the visitor experience. Join us during Acadia's centennial anniversary year for an exploration of the landscape design that visitors continue to experience today.

See related online exhibition.


Left Undone: Unfinished Work from the Collection

Exhibition on view November 4, 2016 through January 7, 2017
Earle G. Shettleworth, Jr. Lecture Hall

exhibit graphic

Some historical objects leave us with more questions than answers. Everyone has some creative project they began but never finished. The Maine Historical Society collection contains examples of such work left undone. But why were these projects never finished? Did the maker lose interest? Lack talent or concentration? Fall ill—or even die? Why were these items saved? And finally, why were they given to MHS—and why did we add such imperfect objects into our collection?

Making things can be a struggle and sometimes a frustration. The incompleteness of these objects reminds us that physical labor and real human effort is part of any creative activity, and the interrupted process can reveal a lot about how these items were envisioned and made.

The reason why these objects are incomplete is not known. We invite you to share in the curatorial process by making your own guesses about why these objects were left undone, and writing labels for them.