Maine Historical Society



Current Exhibitions

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

Home: The Longfellow House & the Emergence of Portland

June 27, 2014 - present

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Home: The Longfellow House & the Emergence of Portland uses the Wadsworth-Longfellow House as a prism to explore how Portland has grown and changed over more than 230 years. When Peleg Wadsworth built the House on Back Street in 1785, it was on the rural outskirts of Portland. By the early 1800s, the House was at the center of a bustling, modern New England city. Since then, Portland has boomed, burned, boomed again, busted, and reemerged as a vibrant, forward-looking city. Through it all, the Wadsworth-Longfellow House has been a constant, and witness to the life of an emerging community.

The exhibition will feature family belongings that tell the personal and yet universal story of how people live in their homes—including ways of heating, cooking, and plumbing—and how those functions evolved within Portland. The stories of the Wadsworth and Longfellow families and an ever-changing cast of neighbors on their block—families, hotels, businesses, tenements, etc.—help explain how Portland has become the beloved, livable city we know today.

With gratitude to our sponsors:

Your Home, Past & Present
Participate in our exhibition and share your images with us!

We are interested in seeing what your home looked like in the past and how it appears today. Submit your images and we'll install them in our exhibition Home: The Longfellow House & the Emergence of Portland and share them online. We welcome images from all towns and all states. Your childhood home, the residences of friends and family members, or intriguing houses in your area are all acceptable.

Details and submission instructions are on on our blog.


Baskets from the Dawnland: Weaving the past and future together

August 14 - November 28, 2015
Earle G. Shettleworth, Jr. Lecture Hall

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Our exhibition--Baskets from the Dawnland: Weaving the past and future together--explores the rich history of the baskets made by Wabanaki people, a tradition that has thrived for thousands of years. Highlights include historical baskets from the MHS collection as well as modern examples by artists from all four Wabanaki nations. The exhibition features works by award-winning basket artists such as Theresa Secord, Jeremy Frey, Sarah Sockbeson, George Neptune and Clara Neptune Keezer.

The opening reception on Friday, August 14 features an evening of Native American stories and poetry. Six contributors to Dawnland Voices: An Anthology of Indigenous Writing from New England will share their work following an introduction by the anthology's editor, Siobhan Senier.

See related programming