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Maine Historical Society




Admission to gallery: Free for MHS members. Non-members: Adults - $10; Children (age 6-17) $5; age 5 and under, Free.

All exhibitions are located at 489 Congress Street in Portland unless otherwise noted.
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NORTHERN THREADS: Two Centuries of Dress at Maine Historical Society

Part II: Clothing circa 1890–1980 : August 12–December 31, 2022

MHS main gallery at 489 Congress Street, Portland, Maine

Learn about and view the virtual exhibit of Northern Threads: Part I

Northern Threads exhibit logo

Experience 20th century Maine life through fashion in Part II of MHS' landmark exhibition NORTHERN THREADS: Two Centuries of Dress at Maine Historical Society. With all-new themed vignettes from 1890-1980, Part II shares fascinating stories about Maine people, and explores clothing's role in social, economic, and environmental histories.

Central to our 200th anniversary, Northern Threads highlights MHS' collecting expertise with newly-conserved, never-before-seen pieces from our permanent collection. Look for Main Gallery groupings like Turn of the Century; Bridalwear; Maine Outdoors; Women at Work; Designed with Style; and Silhouettes in Sequence as well as a limited engagement companion exhibit in the Wadsworth-Longfellow House featuring family clothing.

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***New England Magazine lists Northern Threads among "10 exhibitions to discover in Maine this summer"

View Part I: NORTHERN THREADS: Two Centuries of Dress at Maine Historical Society which was on display March 16–July 30, 2022

NORTHERN THREADS is made possible by contributors, partners, and donors, including:

BHA Foundation Fund, Margaret E. Burnham Charitable Trust, Elsie A. Brown Fund, Inc., The Coby Foundation for Textiles, Ltd., The Davis Family Foundation, Institute ofƒ Museum & Library Services, William Sloane Jelin Foundation, The Morton-Kelly Charitable Trust, Karen and Kirk Pelletier, Deborah S. Reed, The Phineas W. Sprague Memorial Foundation, and Doris S. Stockly.

Chansonetta Stanley Emmons: Staging the Past

September 28, 2022–March 31, 2023
Shettleworth Gallery

Chansonetta Stanley Emmons exhibit logo

Chansonetta Stanley Emmons (1858-1937) of Kingfield, Maine, experimented with the burgeoning artform of photography. Starting in 1897, Emmons documented the lives of people, many in rural and agricultural regions in Maine and around the world. Often described as recalling a bygone era, this exhibition features reproduction prints of Stanley Emmons' glass plate negatives and painted lantern slides that present a time of rapid change, from 1897 to 1926.

The Stanley Museum in Kingfield, Maine owns the Chansonetta Stanley Emmons Photographic Collection, currently on deposit at Maine Historical Society.

View the online version of Chansonetta Stanley Emmons: Staging the Past.

Fashion for the People: Maine's Graphic Tees

October 11, 2022–April 8, 2023
Showcase Gallery

Fashion for the People: Maine's Graphic Tees exhibit logo

From their humble beginnings as undergarments to today's fashion runways, t-shirts have evolved into universally worn wardrobe staples. Named because the silhouette resembles the capital letter "T," the t-shirt—also called a "tee"— is usually a short-sleeved, collarless shirt made of cotton.

Tracing the 102-year history of the garment and featuring graphic t-shirts from Maine, Fashion for the People explores how, through the act of wearing graphic tees, people own a part of history relating to politics, social justice, economics, and commemorative events in Maine.

View the online version of Fashion for the People: Maine's Graphic Tees.

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