Maine Historical Society



Current Exhibitions

Partner Place National Trust for Historic Preservation

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.
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Maine Historical Society is one of more than 2,000 museums across America offering free admission to military personnel and their families in collaboration with the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families, and the Department of Defense. We are proud to be a Blue Star Museum.

Creative Maine: Trade Banners and the Crafts That Built Maine

June 22, 2017 through February 3, 2018
MHS Gallery

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Creative Maine explores the creativity and ingenuity that created the Maine economy as we know it today through the historical parade banners of the Maine Charitable Mechanic Association and examples from some of the most innovative businesses in Maine today. In 1841, MCMA members marched through the streets of downtown Portland to demonstrate their skills and support for their individual trades, as well as for craftspeople struggling to earn a supporting wage in the changing economy. Creative Maine shares the stories of past individuals who led the MCMA, who were skilled in their crafts, and who created successful industries for Maine. Each MCMA trade banner—exquisitely preserved and ready for display—is shown in the exhibition alongside the story of a craftsperson in that specific trade. Also displayed are modern-day examples of those same trades.

As importantly, this exhibition celebrates Maine's cultural community. In August 2010, 16 Maine museums, historical organizations, and their supporters came together in an unprecedented collaboration to save this important collection of Maine artifacts when they went on auction and were at risk of being sold, split up, and leaving Maine. The effort was led by Maine Historical Society and included Portland Museum of Art, Maine State Museum, Maine Maritime Museum, Bates College Museum of Art, Bowdoin College Museum of Art, and Colby College Museum of Art. Individuals, foundations, and corporate donors, including L.L. Bean and the Libra Foundation were also critical to this effort.

We are grateful for the support of the Davis Family Foundation, the BHA Foundation Fund, the Maine Humanities Council, and the P.W. Sprague Memorial Foundation in making this exhibition possible.


Spark! Maine ART Stories

Exhibition on view November 3 through March 31, 2018
Earle G. Shettleworth, Jr. Lecture Hall

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Maine has always been a home and a haven to artists and creative makers. Spark! Maine ART Stories explores the varied ways Mainers express themselves today, and features sixteen contemporary Maine artists who are diverse in their geography, their artistic mediums, and in what compels them to create.

Featured artists: Titi de Baccarat, Gina Brooks, Brendan Bullock, Barbara Burns, Katharine Cobey, Decontie and Brown, Ayumi Horie, Hector Jaeger, Karen Jelenfy, David Johansen, Daniel Minter, Geo Neptune, Edmond and Brian J. Theriault, and Ian Trask.

MHS is actively preserving the stories of the Spark! Maine ART Stories artists by incorporating extended My Maine Stories ( components alongside the artists' physical works and online.