Art In the Capitol: Now Presenting “Maine at its Mid-Point”

  • February 04, 2020

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“Maine at its Mid-Point” photo exhibition opens at the State Capitol

Take the journey to early twentieth century Maine by visiting the new Art in the Capitol exhibition: “Maine at its Mid-Point.” The photographic exhibition is presented by the Maine Arts Commission in collaboration with the Penobscot Marine Museum. The show runs from January through June 2020 on the ground floor of the Maine State House.

“Maine at its Mid-Point” provides historical and artistic context for our state’s bicentennial anniversary, drawing upon the research and writing conducted for the book Maine on Glass: The Early Twentieth Century in Glass Plate Photography.  In the book, State Historian Earle G. Shettleworth, Jr. describes Maine as a “big state in bustling times.”

The book features 200 pages of photographs selected from glass plate negatives by photo archivist Kevin Johnson from the Penobscot Marine Museum’s Eastern Illustrating & Publishing Co. collection.

“I am thrilled at the exposure that the Maine at its Mid-Point exhibit will bring to the book that examines it,” said photo archivist Kevin Johnson. “As Maine reflects on its history and looks to its future in 2020, this exhibit will provide a striking visual experience for visitors to the Maine State House and draw attention to the rich history and culture of our state.”

The collection is arguably the most significant of its kind for Maine photography, creating a photographic survey of Maine that offers a genuine look at the state when it was a hundred years old. The informative captions, written by historian William H Bunting, take the images to a deeper level. 

“There was a lot going on in Maine in the early twentieth century,” reads the side jacket of Maine On Glass. “Hitting the backroads in antique automobiles, slipping in and out of the decades between 1909 and the early 1950s, we visit boomtowns and migrant labor camps, people at work and play, farms and factories, lobster smacks and loggers, hotels and boarding houses, resorts and hunting lodges, board-and-batten one-roomers and opulent homes, quarries and river ferries, summer camps and village schools, airplanes and schooners, brass bands and ship launchings.”

The exhibit is presented in part by the Maine Arts Commission and sponsored by Tilbury House Publishers. The photos are printed on fine art paper provided by Innova Art Ltd. Inkjet prints are available to purchase.  The Art in the Capitol program is designed to expand accessibility for Maine artists working in state on Maine-based themes. To learn more about the program visit: or contact Julie Horn, Visual Arts Director at


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Ryan Leighton

193 State Street
SHS 25
Augusta  ME  04333