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Maine Historical Society

MAINE HISTORICAL SOCIETY

PRESERVING HISTORY
ENGAGING MINDS
CONNECTING MAINE

Upcoming Programs & Events

Events on this page: July | August | September | October | November | On-Demand Programs | Ongoing Programs | Group Trips | Exhibitions | Online Exhibitions | Regional Genealogy Events

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NEW! MHS CELEBRATING 200 YEARS Virtual Program Series
(February–December 2022)

Join us for an outstanding program series that celebrates the 200th anniversary of the Maine Historical Society. Unless otherwise noted, MHS CELEBRATING 200 YEARS highlighted programs are free and air via Zoom at specified times. Visit this page often for new additions. Register early to avoid disappointment.

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On-Demand Programs - Videos and Podcasts

VIDEOS: Watch topical dialogues, lessons & demonstrations related to Maine history.
PODCASTS: Hear audio recordings of MHS public lectures, stories, and events.

July Programs

Friday, July 1, 5:00 – 7:00 pm

First Friday Art Walk

First Friday Art Walk

Swing on by to Maine Historical Society for First Friday Art Walk festivities! No registration needed!

SHOP our store.

EXPERIENCE Three Powerhouse Exhibits in our Galleries:


• Northern Threads: Two Centuries of Dress and Maine Historical Society (Part I).

• Representing every particular: John Martin's 19th century fashion illustrations

• Cosmopolitan stylings of Madeleine and Mildred Burrage

Cost: Free & open to the public. NO REGISTRATION REQUIRED.

Location: MHS 489 Congress Street, Portland.

This is an in-person event. Please find up-to-date MHS pandemic protocols here.

Wednesday, July 6, 6:00 – 7:00 pm

*CELEBRATING 200 YEARS OF MHS SERIES*
Maine Historical Society's First 200 Years: A Talk with William Barry

Founded in 1822, Maine Historical Society is the third oldest state dedicated historical society in the United States. For 200 years MHS has studied, collected, and worked to preserve and share the many different stories of the many different people who have called the Pine Tree State home. But what do we know about MHS’ own history? Join us for a retrospective on the institution's story with MHS Historian William Barry. We’ll take a look back at two centuries of collecting, writing, exhibiting, and interpreting, and think a bit about what comes next.

About the speaker: Portland resident William Barry is a research historian, book reviewer, editor, and freelance writer. He has been a guest curator for a number of art and historical exhibits, including: Women Pioneers in Maine Art (1981), Made in Maine: Michael Waterman (1988), and Rum Riot and Reform: Maine and the History of American Drinking (1999 with Nan Cumming). His research and writing specialties are local and regional art, history and literature. He received an M.A. in American Cultural History from the University of Vermont. After graduation in 1974, he served as Curator of Research at the Portland Museum of Art until the late 1970s.

Cost: Free and open to the public.

Location: online via Zoom. REGISTER

Wednesday, July 13, 4:00 pm

In-person event
Summer in Maine, Summer in the City: Four Poets Reading in the Longfellow Garden

Summer in Maine, Summer in the City: Four Poets Reading in the Longfellow Garden

RAIN DATE: Friday, July 15
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow always found inspiration for his poetry at his childhood home in Portland, so what better place to gather and enjoy the words of some modern Maine poets than the Longfellow Garden? Join us live and in-person for a midsummer evening of verses and visiting in the heart of Longfellow’s “beautiful town…seated by the sea”.

About the Poets:

SALLY BLIUMIS-DUNN teaches Modern Poetry at Manhattanville College and offers individual manuscript conferences at the Palm Beach Poetry Festival. In 2002, she was a finalist for the Nimrod/Hardman Pablo Neruda Prize. She is the author of three books of poetry and divides her time between the Hudson Valley and Brunswick, Maine.

SUSANA H. CASE is a co-editor of Slapering Hol Press and the author of eight books of poetry, most recently The Damage Done (Broadstone Books, 2022). Dead Shark on the N Train (Broadstone Books, 2020) won a Pinnacle Book Award for Best Poetry Book and a NYC Big Book Award Distinguished Favorite She is also the author of five chapbooks. Case recently retired as Professor from the New York Institute of Technology in New York City, where she taught for 38 years.

BETSY SHOLL teaches in the MFA in Writing Program of Vermont College of Fine Arts and served as Poet Laureate of Maine from 2006 to 2011. Her collection of poetry House of Sparrows: New and Selected Poems (University of Wisconsin, 2019) was the winner of the Four Lakes Prize. Her other past awards include a Maine Book Award for Poetry, The Felix Pollak Prize, the AWP Prize for Poetry, and the 2020 Distinguished Achievement Award from Maine Writers and Publishers Alliance.

MARGO TAFT STEVER is the founder of the Hudson Valley Writers Center and founding and current co-editor of Slapering Hol Press. She has published three full-length poetry collections, four chapbooks, and her poems have appeared in several literary magazines. She is currently an adjunct assistant professor in the Bioethics Department of the School of Medicine at Case Western Reserve University and she also teaches a poetry workshop at Children’s Village, a residential school for at-risk children and adolescents. Her family has long ties to Maine.

Cost: Free and open to the public, seating is limited.

Location: Longfellow Garden, 489 Congress Street, Portland

Tuesday, July 26, 7:00 – 8:00 pm

*NORTHERN THREADS SERIES*
From Head to Heel: Dressing in Maine in the Long 18th Century

From Head to Heel: Dressing in Maine in the Long 18th Century

Focusing on five representative artifacts, Dr. Kimberly Alexander, Director of Museum Studies at the University of New Hampshire, will explore the nature of making, remaking, repairing, and preserving Maine's fashionable past.

About the speaker: Dr. Kimberly Alexander is on the faculty of the History Department at the University of New Hampshire, where she is Director of Museum Studies and Lecturer. She has held curatorial positions at several New England Museums, including the MIT Museum, Peabody Essex Museum and Strawbery Banke. Her book, Treasures Afoot: Shoe Stories from the Georgian Era, traces the history of early Anglo-American footwear from the 1740s through the 1790s [Johns Hopkins University Press 2018] and received a 2019 Historic New England Honor Award. Dr. Alexander’s 2021 book Fashioning the New England Family, was published by the Massachusetts Historical Society. She was Guest Curator of the exhibit “Fashioning the New England Family,” at the Massachusetts Historical Society, 2018-2019. She received a 2021 teaching excellence award in the College of Liberal Arts at UNH. She currently serves as Chair of the Public History Committee for the Organization of American Historians.

Cost: Free and open to the public.

Location: online via Zoom. REGISTER.

August Programs

Thursday, August 11, 5:00 – 7:00 pm

NORTHERN THREADS Exhibition Opening *Member Exclusive*

1970s maxi dress

1970s maxi dress

MHS MEMBERS EXCLUSIVE
Come for the clothes, stay for the history! Experience Maine history through fashion in the stunning, two-part landmark exhibition Northern Threads: Two Centuries of Dress at Maine Historical Society. Central to MHS' 200th anniversary, Northern Threads illuminates the social, economic, and environmental history of our state through never-before-exhibited pieces in MHS' permanent collection.

Following social time, each evening will include a behind-the-scenes look at exhibit preparations with brief remarks by staff curators and collaborators, with time to take in the exhibit.

Event attendees agree to abide by MHS' COVID-19 related protocols, posted on MaineHistory.org.

Location: MHS 489 Congress Street, Portland
Cost: Free for MHS members


Space is limited and open to MHS members only.
Must RSVP to events@mainehistory.org or 207.774.1822, ext. 222 or

register online.

September Programs

Wednesday, September 7, 12:00 – 1:00 pm

Special Curator Tour: NORTHERN THREADS with Jamie Rice

William McVane's smoking jacket

William McVane's smoking jacket

MHS MEMBERS EXCLUSIVE
Join Jamie Rice, MHS Deputy Director and co-curator for NORTHERN THREADS: Two Centuries of Dress at Maine Historical Society for a special guided tour of the exhibit. Told through themed vignettes, NORTHERN THREADS considers how the clothing Maine people wore during the late 18th to mid-20th centuries reveals the social, economic, and environmental history of our state. This examination of MHS' permanent collection is an opportunity to consider the relevance of historic clothing in museums, the ebb and flow of fashion styles, and the complexities of diverse representation spanning 200 years of collecting.

This is a unique opportunity to experience a deep dive into this major exhibit with curator, Jamie Rice.

Space is limited and open to MHS members only.

Location: MHS 489 Congress Street, Portland
Cost: Free for MHS members, space limited to 10 members

Register Today!

October Programs

Wednesday, October 5, 12:00 – 1:00 pm

Special Curator Tour: NORTHERN THREADS with Jamie Rice

Girl Scout Uniform

Girl Scout Uniform

MHS MEMBERS EXCLUSIVE
Join Jamie Rice, MHS Deputy Director and co-curator for NORTHERN THREADS: Two Centuries of Dress at Maine Historical Society for a special guided tour of the exhibit. Told through themed vignettes, NORTHERN THREADS considers how the clothing Maine people wore during the late 18th to mid-20th centuries reveals the social, economic, and environmental history of our state. This examination of MHS' permanent collection is an opportunity to consider the relevance of historic clothing in museums, the ebb and flow of fashion styles, and the complexities of diverse representation spanning 200 years of collecting.

This is a unique opportunity to experience a deep dive into this major exhibit with curator, Jamie Rice.

Space is limited and open to MHS members only.

Location: MHS 489 Congress Street, Portland
Cost: Free for MHS members, space limited to 10 members

Register Today!

November Programs

Wednesday, November 2, 12:00 – 1:00 pm

Special Curator Tour: NORTHERN THREADS with Jamie Rice

Bergdorf Goodman flapper-style dress

Bergdorf Goodman flapper-style dress

MHS MEMBERS EXCLUSIVE
Join Jamie Rice, MHS Deputy Director and co-curator for NORTHERN THREADS: Two Centuries of Dress at Maine Historical Society for a special guided tour of the exhibit. Told through themed vignettes, NORTHERN THREADS considers how the clothing Maine people wore during the late 18th to mid-20th centuries reveals the social, economic, and environmental history of our state. This examination of MHS' permanent collection is an opportunity to consider the relevance of historic clothing in museums, the ebb and flow of fashion styles, and the complexities of diverse representation spanning 200 years of collecting.

This is a unique opportunity to experience a deep dive into this major exhibit with curator, Jamie Rice.

Space is limited and open to MHS members only.

Location: MHS 489 Congress Street, Portland
Cost: Free for MHS members, space limited to 10 members

Register Today!

Ongoing Programs

Wadsworth-Longfellow House Tours - June–October. See details.

Exhibition Galleries (self-guided) - See details.

Hiostry Walking Tours of Portland - See details.

Current Exhibitions

Begin Again exhibit logo

Northern Threads:
Two Centuries of Dress
at Maine Historical Society

Part I: Clothing circa 1780–1889:
March 16–July 30, 2022
   Part II: Clothing circa 1890–1980:
August 12–December 31, 2022

Cosmopolitan Stylings graphic

Cosmopolitan Stylings of Mildred and Madeleine Burrage
May 25–September 24, 2022

 

John Martin's 19th century fashion illustrations graphic

Representing every particular: John Martin's 19th century fashion illustrations
March 16–August 6, 2022

 

Maine Memory Network exhibit logo

Maine Memory Network: over 300 online exhibits

 

Group Trips

Stay tuned for information on upcoming trips!

Regional Genealogy Programs, Events, and Conferences

Find out about regional conferences and other family history instruction and workshops.