Maine Historical Society



Exhibitions & Museum

On this page:   Current Exhibitions  | Upcoming Exhibits  | Collections  | Research  | Donating Historical Items

The MHS Museum features changing exhibitions and programs spanning more than twelve centuries of life in Maine. Drawing from the extensive collections of the Maine Historical Society, original exhibits feature art, artifacts, documents, stories, and textiles which vividly bring Maine history to life.

Below you will find information about our current exhibitions. Additional information is available on our current exhibits page. Past exhibitions are described on the past exhibitions page and are often available (along with countless digital exhibitions) via the Maine Memory Network.

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

What to expect during the age of COVID-19?

Gallery admission is through a timed ticketing process. View current hours and purchase tickets online.

MHS takes the safety of our staff, patrons and collections seriously requiring face masks, encouraging hand washing and social distancing, and instituting cleaning protocols with both people and collections in mind.

Thank you for your understanding as we strictly enforce our updated policies and guidelines.

Buy Tickets link

Current Exhibitions

Explore Past Exhibits.

State of Mind: Becoming Maine
March 13, 2020 - January 30, 2021 (Closed March 16 - June 30, 2020)

Maine Historical Society

State of Mind: Becoming Maine will analyze Maine as the homeland of the Wabanaki people, as a European province, as part of the District of Massachusetts, and the State of Maine. Read More


Rudy Vallee and Fay Webb, ca. 1932

Icons & Influencers: Celebrity Photographs from the Evening Express, 1920-1935
August 30, 2019 through June 2020

Maine Historical Society Shettleworth Gallery

America's obsession with celebrity is nothing new. While photo journalism began during the American Civil War, newspapers seldom used photography to illustrate or enhance stories until nearly seventy years later. Beginning in the 1920s, newspapers started featuring paparazzi-style candid photographs of cultural icons, including celebrities, politicians, and athletes, as a way to engage new audiences and increase sales. This exhibition features examples of celebrity photographs from the Evening Express, between 1920 and 1935. Read more.


My Island Home: Recollections of Verlie Colby Greenleaf of Westport Island
November 8, 2019 through April 25, 2020

Showcase Gallery at Maine Historical Society

Verlie Greenleaf (1891-1992) bore witness to over a century of Westport Island's history. From her earliest memories, there was no ferry or bridge—only boats to carry people on and off the island. Her words frame the exhibition, providing a first-person account of her life. Read More


Museum Collections

The Museum's diverse collection of over 20,000 artifacts includes paintings, prints, and other original works of art, clothing and textiles, decorative arts, Native American artifacts and archaeological material, toys, tools, glass and ceramics, political memorabilia, militaria, and industrial and domestic artifacts that illustrate life in Maine.

To donate collections, please see the donating historical items page.

Search the collections database to research within museum objects, photographs. The database also includes a selection of records for autograph letters, architectural drawings, and newspapers. The collections database is always a work in progress, please connect with collections staff for up to date information at


Museum Collections

Research access to the museum collections is available by appointment and is subject to availability.

Contact the Collections Manager & Registrar at (207) 774–1822 x210 or for more information.

Donating Historical Items

If you are considering donating historic material to the Maine Historical Society museum or library, please read our donation guidelines, and review the MHS Collections Management Policy.