Maine Historical Society

MAINE HISTORICAL SOCIETY

PRESERVING HISTORY
ENGAGING MINDS
CONNECTING MAINE

Past Exhibitions

On this page:   Museum Gallery  | Showcase Gallery  | Shettleworth Lecture Hall  | Wadsworth-Longfellow House  | Brown Research Library

Since the opening of the Maine Historical Society Museum (formerly known as the Center for Maine History Museum) in 1993, the Maine Historical Society has held the exhibits listed below.

Several of these and other online exhibits can be found in our digital museum, the Maine Memory Network.

World War I and the Maine Experience. February 3 – June 4, 2017.

Designing Acadia: Creating Maine's National Park Experience. June 17, 2016 – January 14, 2017.

400 Years of New Mainers. February 4 – May 30, 2016.

Home: The Longfellow House & the Emergence of Portland. June 27, 2014 – January 8, 2016.
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This Rebellion: Maine and the Civil War. June 28, 2013 – May 26, 2014.
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WIRED! How Electricity Came to Maine. June 22, 2012 – May 26, 2013.

Dressing Up, Standing Out, Fitting In: Adornment & Identity in Maine, 1750-1950. June 24, 2011 – May 27, 2012.

ZOOM IN: New Approaches to Maine History. June 25, 2010 – May 29, 2011.
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Re/Collected: Great Works and New Discoveries from the Brown Library. June 26, 2009 – May 30, 2010.

Main Street, Maine – Downtown Views From the Eastern Publishing and Illustrating Company. Feb 12 – May 31, 2009.

Art of the People: Folk Art in Maine. June 27 – December 30, 2008.
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Gifts from Gluskabe: Maine Indian Artforms from the Hudson Museum. February 14 – June 1, 2008.
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Drawing Together: The Arts of the Longfellows. February 16 – December 30, 2007.
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Passionate Pursuits — History through the Collector's Eye. June 30 – December 30, 2006.

A Riot of Words — Broadsides and Ballads, Posters and Proclamations. February 10 – June 11, 2006.
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A City Awakes — The Arts and Artists of Early 19th Century Portland. June 24 – December 31, 2005.
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Umbazooksus and Beyond: The Maine Woods Remembered. January 28 – June 5, 2005.

Amazing! Maine Stories. June 25 – December 2004.

The Camera's Coast: Historic Photographs of Maritime New England. February 20 – May 30, 2004.
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The Shape of Maine: Drawing Boundaries, Mapping History. June 19 – December 31, 2003.

Dairy to Doorstep: Milk Delivery in New England, 1860 – 1910. January – June 2003.
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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow: The Man Who Invented America. May – December 2002.
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Comfort and Joy: Quilts, Toys and Winter Pleasures. December 2001 – February 2002.
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Mirror of Maine: Four Centuries of Great Books. November 2000 – November 2001.
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E Pluribus Unum: Maine and the Making of a Nation. December 1999 – October 2000.
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Bold Vision: The Development of the Park System in Portland. July – November 1999.
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Embroidered Treasures. May 1999.
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First Light: Dawn of Photography in Maine. April – November 1999.
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I Saw Three Ships: An Exhibition of Marine Paintings. December 1998 – end date unknown.

Rum Riot and Reform, Maine and the history of American Drinking. May – November 1998.
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Portland's Pride: The Observatory. January 1998 – March 1998.
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Precious Keepsakes: A Selection of Wedding Dresses and Memorabilia from the Collections of the Maine Historical Society. November 1997 – January 1998.

The Way Life Should Be: Tourism, Reality and Romance in Early Modern Maine. May – November 1997.

Growth Rings: 200 Years of Wabanaki Basketry, Carving, and Enterprise. November 1996 – April 1997.

Homes Away: Victorian Life at Sea. May – October 1996.

From Souchong Teas to Canton Silks: The Exotic China Trade in Everyday Maine. December 1995 – October 1996.
Purchase related book.

China: Exploring the Interior, 1903–1904. November 1995 – January 1996.

Victory on the Homefront: Maine During World War II. May – November 1995.
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All the Arts That Please: Folk Art of the Maine Historical Society. December 1994 – April 1995.

Maine People, Maine Stories: Treasures from the Maine Historical Society. December 1994 – April 1995.

Take ME out to the Ballgame. May — November 1994.

A Goodly Vessel: Ships and Shipbuilding on Casco Bay. March – October 1994.

Flora, Fauna, and Stuffed Birds: A Look Back at the Portland Society of Natural History. November 1993 – March 1994.

Urban Evolution: Maine's Downtown in Transition. November 1993 – March 1994.

Upstream and Downstream: 200 Years of Commerce, Trade and Recreation in Maine Waters. May – November 1993.

Showcase Gallery

Fashionable Downton Abbey: Selections from the MHS Costume Collection. February 16 – March 30, 2016.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow: America's Song King. February 23 – June 3, 2007.

A Peace of Work Performed by Me: Historic Fiberarts from the Collection. July 9 – December 2004.

Shettleworth Lecture Hall

Making Paper, Making Maine. June 2 – October 22, 2017.

Veterans' Voices. January 12 – May 28, 2017.

Left Undone: Unfinished Work from the Collection. November 4, 2016 through January 7, 2017.

Images of Destruction: Remembering the Great Portland Fire of 1866. June 30 through October 30, 2016.

Down the Allagash: Celebrating the Allagash Wilderness Waterway. May 6 through June 26, 2016.

Pigeon's Mainer Project: street art meets history. March 4 through May 1, 2016.

Imbued with Hues. December 4, 2015 - February 27, 2016.

Baskets from the Dawnland: Weaving the past and future together. August 14 - November 28, 2015.
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Pursuit of Liberty: The Search for Compromise in the Declaration of Independence. June 11 - August 2, 2015.
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Sugar and Spice: Our Vintage Recipes. March 6 - June 5, 2015.
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Wholesome Habitations: Architectural Collections of the Maine Historical Society. October 3, 2014 - February 28, 2015.

A Snapshot of Portland, 1924: The Taxman Cometh. June 27 thru September 28, 2014.

From Slavery to Maine. April 4 thru May 26, 2014.

From Chop Suey to Washington Pie: Maine Menus. February 24 thru March 2014.

Dear Old Maine, I'm Coming Back: Home & Hearth Reflected in the Maine Historical Society Sheet Music Collection. November 1 - February 22, 2014.

Thundered Over the Tide: 200th Anniversary of the Battle of the Boxer & the Enterprise. August 31 - October 25, 2013.

Patriotic Imagery. June 27 – August 26, 2013.

Vintage Maine Images: A Website Comes to Life. May 1 – June 23, 2013.

Maine Things: Recent Museum Acquisitions. March 1 – May 2013.

In a Whole New Light. November 2nd – February 2013.

Downtown - Portland, circa 1912. April 6 – June 30, 2012.

Take to the Streets!. January 3 – March 31, 2012.

"Having in Paris a Great Success": French Fashion, 1928-1936. September 2 – December 31, 2011.

Images of the Longfellow Garden. May 6 – August 30, 2011.
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Arts, Artists, and Personalities in 1930s Maine. March 4 – May 3, 2011.

A Most Inconvenient Storm . November 17, 2010 – January 3, 2011.

The Art of December: Original Holiday Cards by Maine Artists from the Mildred Burrage Collection. November 17, 2010 – January 3, 2011.

Exposed: Rare Photographs of Life in Maine. May 7, 2010 – November 5, 2010.

Wadsworth-Longfellow House

Hats About the House: Victorian Bonnets, Top Hats, 1950s Fascinators and More. September 1 – October 22, 2017

Brown Research Library

Early Maine Photography, 1840-1870. September 25, 2015 - January 16, 2016.
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Magna Carta: Enduring Legacy, 1215-2015. June 30 - July 12, 2015.

Lincoln: The Constitution and the Civil War. November 12 – December 20, 2014. Browse related products.