New Exhibition at Maine Historical Society Explores Maine's Creative Economy Through Historic Trade Banners
June 23, 2017
A new exhibition at Maine Historical Society (MHS) explores the creativity and ingenuity that created the Maine economy as we know it today through the historic trade parade banners produced by members of the Maine Charitable Mechanic Association (MCMA).
In 1841, MCMA members marched through the streets of downtown Portland to demonstrate their skills and support for their individual trades, as well as for craftspeople struggling to earn a supporting wage in the changing economy. Creative Maine: Trade Banners and the Crafts That Built Maine shares the stories of past individuals who led the MCMA, who were skilled in their crafts, and who created successful industries for Maine. Each exquisitely-preserved banner is on display alongside both a historical account of a craftsperson, and a contemporary example of that same trade as it exists today.
In August 2010, 16 Maine museums and their supporters came together in an unprecedented collaboration to save these remarkable banners. Led by Maine Historical Society, the effort included Portland Museum of Art, Maine State Museum, Maine Maritime Museum, the Maine State Historian, Bates College Museum of Art, Bowdoin College Museum of Art, and Colby College Museum of Art as well as a number of individual, corporate, and foundation donors. This exhibition celebrates that story and Maine’s cultural community.
More information on the MCMA banners can be viewed at https://www.mainememory.net/banners.
Creative Maine is supported by the Davis Family Foundation, the BHA Foundation Fund, the Maine Humanities Council, and the P.W. Sprague Memorial Foundation.
What: Creative Maine: Trade Banners and the Crafts That Built Maine When: June 23, 2017 through January 13, 2018 Where: Maine Historical Society Gallery, 489 Congress Street, Portland, ME 04101
About Maine Historical Society A growing museum, incomparable library and statewide educational resource, Maine Historical Society is located in the heart of Portland’s downtown cultural district. Founded in 1822, MHS is the third oldest state historical society in the United States. MHS strives to serve the entire state through its education and outreach programs and through the digital museum, Maine Memory Network. MHS is comprised of the Wadsworth-Longfellow House and Garden, the MHS Museum & Store, the MHS Brown Research Library, and Maine Memory Network. www.mainehistory.org
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The Maine Historical Society promotes the understanding and enjoyment of Maine history.