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.

All exhibitions are located at 489 Congress Street in Portland unless otherwise noted.
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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.

Holding Up the Sky: Wabanaki People, Culture, History & Art

Exhibition on view April 12, 2019 through February 1, 2020
MHS Gallery

Holding Up the Sky exhibit graphic

Holding up the Sky explores Wabanaki philosophies of leadership and obligation relating to humans and non-humans by highlighting 13,000 years of Wabanaki residence in what is now known as Maine.

Wabanaki advisors guided the exhibition, interpreting 17th century colonial treaties, photographs, heritage items, and contemporary artworks—everything from ash baskets to haute couture fashion. Wabanaki voices provide context for the present-day relevance and repercussions of 400 years of shared histories between Wabanaki people and immigrants to their region.

In addition to items from Maine Historical Society collections and newly-commissioned pieces from Wabanaki artists, the exhibition will feature artifacts generously loaned by many individuals and organizations, including: Abbe Museum, Hudson Museum, Passamaquoddy Cultural Heritage Museum, Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, Maine State Museum, Nova Scotia Museum, and Bangor Historical Society.

Holding Up the Sky was developed in collaboration with a team of advisors, including Lisa Brooks (Abenaki), James Francis (Penobscot), Suzanne Greenlaw (Maliseet), Darren Ranco (Penobscot), Theresa Secord (Penobscot), Ashley Smith (Wabanaki descent), and Donald Soctomah (Passamaquoddy).


Power of Potential: Photographs of the 1925 National Business and Professional Women's Convention

May 3 through August 25, 2019
Earle G. Shettleworth, Jr. Lecture Hall at Maine Historical Society

Power of Potential exhibit

The National Federation of Business and Professional Women's Clubs (NFBPWC) held their seventh annual convention in Portland during July 12 to July 18, 1925. Over 2,000 working women from around the country visited the city. The week's events included daily conferences, networking opportunities, and social outings highlighting Maine's "Vacationland." Throughout the week, the Portland Evening Express documented the convention, highlighting activities through articles and featured photographs. This exhibition features images from Evening Express' coverage, which are part of the Portland Press Herald glass negative collection at Maine Historical Society.

The NFBPWC was established in July 1919 – eight months before the 19th Amendment allocated voting rights for many American women. From suffrage to the glass ceiling, the organization continues to empower and mentor professional women.

This project was made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services MA-30-16-0356-16.