Maine Historical Society

MAINE HISTORICAL SOCIETY

PRESERVING HISTORY
ENGAGING MINDS
CONNECTING MAINE

Upcoming Programs & Events

Events on this page: April | May | June | September | November | Ongoing Programs | Podcasts | Group Trips | Exhibitions | Online Exhibitions | Regional Genealogy Events

Program fees and registration details are listed in the program description. Programs for MHS members are free or discounted. Support MHS by becoming a member today. All programs take place at our facilities at 489 Congress Street in Portland, unless otherwise noted. Click here for Directions or Parking information.

Please review our Refund and Return Policies for tickets and event admissions.

If you have questions about any of the programs listed below, please contact us at (207) 774-1822.

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Ongoing Programs

Wadsworth-Longfellow House Tours - Daily, May - October. See details.

Exhibition Galleries (self-guided) - Changing schedule, year-round. See details.

Historical Walking Tours of Portland - June - October 10, 2019. Tours offered Monday through Friday at 1:30pm, and on select special weekend dates. See details.

April Programs

Saturday, April 4

CANCELLED - Smithsonian Magazine Museum Day

CANCELLED - Smithsonian Magazine Museum Day

Maine Historical Society Museum Galleries will be open at no charge for Museum Day ticket holders on April 4, 2020!

Every year, the Smithsonian Magazine hosts Museum Day, a celebration of boundless curiosity. Participating museums and cultural institutions across the country -- like MHS -- provide free entry to anyone presenting a Museum Day ticket. The Museum Day ticket provides free admission for two people on Saturday, April 4. Download your free Museum Day entry tickets here: https://www.smithsonianmag.com/museumday/museum-day-2020/

Maine Historical Society Museum Galleries feature changing exhibitions spanning more than 12 centuries of Maine life. Drawing from our extensive collections, original exhibits feature art, artifacts, stories, and documents that vividly bring Maine history to life.

Please note: All exhibitions are located at 489 Congress Street in Portland. The Museum Day ticket will be accepted for general admission to the MHS Museum Galleries only; the offer does NOT include services provided by the MHS Research Library, NOR entrance to the Wadsworth-Longfellow House (closed for the season until May 1.)

May Programs

Friday, May 1, 5:00 – 7:00 pm

FIRST FRIDAY ART WALK: MHS Museum Exhibit Galleries Open at No Charge!

FIRST FRIDAY ART WALK: MHS Museum Exhibit Galleries Open at No Charge!

Swing by Maine Historical Society during our First Friday Art Walk to view museum exhibit galleries at no charge!

This FFAW will feature the opening of our newest exhibition A CONVENIENT SOLDIER: BLACK GUARDS PROTECT MAINE RAILWAYS. Guest Curator Asata Radcliffe will meet guests and answer questions. And plan to see our major Bicentennial exhibition STATE OF MIND: BECOMING MAINE.

Location: Maine Historical Society, 489 Congress Street, Portland
Cost: Free and open to the public


Image: Sgt. McArthur Stafford and Pvt. Robert A. Stephens, North Yarmouth, 1942; MHS/MMN#29286

Wednesday, May 20, 12:00 – 1:00 pm

With Tilly Laskey
Special Curator Tour: STATE OF MIND: BECOMING MAINE

Special Curator Tour: STATE OF MIND: BECOMING MAINE

Join Tilly Laskey, Curator for State of Mind: Becoming Maine in this special guided tour of the exhibit. State of Mind explores Maine as the homeland of the Wabanaki people, as a European province, as part of the District of Massachusetts, and the State of Maine.

Location: MHS Museum Gallery, 489 Congress Street, Portland

Cost: Regular museum admission rates apply; free for MHS members. Please register in the Museum Store when purchasing your ticket.


Tours are limited to 15 guests for the best experience.

June Programs

Friday, June 5, 5:00 – 7:00 pm

FIRST FRIDAY ART WALK: MHS Museum Exhibit Galleries Open at No Charge!

FIRST FRIDAY ART WALK: MHS Museum Exhibit Galleries Open at No Charge!

Swing by Maine Historical Society during our First Friday Art Walk to view museum exhibit galleries at no charge!

Location: Maine Historical Society, 489 Congress Street, Portland
Cost: Free and open to the public

September Programs

Saturday, September 26, 10:00 am – 4:00 pm

MHS presents the sixth annual
Magical History Tour

Magical History Tour

MHS is thrilled to host our sixth annual Magical History Tour, an amazing self-guided experience in Greater Portland, on Saturday, May 9. This family-friendly excursion allows access to fascinating historic places that aren't usually open to the public--and provides a unique opportunity for Mainers to celebrate our shared values and special sense of place.

This year brings new excitement with Maine's Bicentennial. Look for sites connected to Portland life in the early 19th century at the time of Maine Statehood. NEW—a Magical History Breakfast for Patrons and Sponsors featuring renowned Maine State historian Earle G. Shettleworth, Jr. ALSO NEW - Trolley service at many of our stops!

+Magical History Breakfast for Patrons and Sponsors: Saturday, May 9 (8:30 - 10:00 am) - Mechanic's Hall
+Magical History Tour: Saturday, May 9 (10:00 am - 4:00 pm)

Visit our Magical History Tour event page for details, sponsorship opportunities, and tickets.

November Programs

Thursday, November 12, 7:00 – 9:00 pm

With Dr. Ardis Cameron
Representing Race in Mid-Century Maine Film: Screening of LOST BOUNDARIES (1949)

Representing Race in Mid-Century Maine Film: Screening of LOST BOUNDARIES (1949)

In partnership with University of Maine - Augusta
Join us for the screening of LOST BOUNDARIES (1949, Alfred Werker, director) followed by a facilitated discussion with USM Professor Dr. Ardis Cameron.

The film is based on the William Lindsay White's book of the same name and narrates the experiences of a black doctor who passes for white to work in a New England hospital. Based on the real story of a black family in early 20th century New England, LOST BOUNDARIES was filmed in Kittery and York, Maine, as well as parts of New Hampshire, and released in 1949.

Historically, this film is part of the movement that spawned socially conscious films in Hollywood in the 1930's and 40s, but few such films directly addressed racism in New England. This film provides an opportunity to consider the larger context of racial politics in mid-century Maine and the significance of setting a story of racial “passing” in New England.

Location: Maine Historical Society, 489 Congress Street, Portland
Cost: Free and open to the public

Program Podcasts

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Group Trips

Captivating Croatia: A Journey on Land and by Private Mega-yacht
October 14-27, 2020. From $4,799 per person

Maine Historical Society is pleased to announce an additional 2020 trip...

We will begin in Zagreb for 13 adventure-filled days and experience the land of a thousand islands. Located on the east bank of the Adriatic Sea across from Italy, many say that a trip to Croatia is to experience "the Mediterranean as it once was." Get Trip Details.

Exhibitions

State of Mind: Becoming Maine
March 13, 2020-January 30, 2021

Main Gallery at 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 March 30, 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

 

Online Exhibitions

Maine Memory Network homepage

Maine Memory Network - Over 300 Online Exhibitions

Offers online access to numerous Web–based exhibits and a constantly growing collection of over 46,000 historical documents, images, and objects contributed by as many as 270 organizations around Maine. New exhibits added regularly. Go to www.mainememory.net.

 

Regional Genealogy Programs, Events, and Conferences

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