Washington Street Gallery presents ‘Through Her Lens: Women Photographers Of Mid-Coast Maine, 1895-1925’
October 3 @ 8:00 am - October 31 @ 5:00 pm
For the month of October, Eastport Arts Center’s Washington Street Gallery will feature Through Her Lens: Women Photographers Of Mid-Coast Maine, 1895-1925, an exhibition loaned by the Penobscot Marine Museum. Since photography’s inception in 1839, women have been involved in the making of images. Constance Fox Talbot experimented with photography even as her husband William Fox Talbot was perfecting his process, the calotype, which generated the world’s first photographic negative in 1841. A handful of women began opening daguerreotype studios in Europe and the United States in the early 1840s, and were among the first professionals in this technical field at a time when most women either didn’t work outside the home, or were employed as domestic servants, schoolteachers, nurses, or laborers in the textile industry.
Between 1895 and 1925, five Mid-Coast Maine women were producing striking photographs of their own. As far as we know, Evie Barbour, Joanna Colcord, Ida Crie, Harriet Hichborn, and Ruth Montgomery were never acquainted. Their circumstances, abilities, approaches, reasons for photographing, and the geographical range available to each of them for making pictures, varied widely. Colcord and Montgomery travelled with seafaring families to far-flung ports; Crie and Hichborn were enthusiastic and imaginative amateurs; and Barbour was a professional, producing real-photo postcards after the death of her first husband. This exhibit showcases the myriad subjects that caught the gaze of these women, in Maine and beyond. We are invited to look—through her lens—at unique views of coastal Maine life, portraits, intimate domestic scenes, life aboard ship, and bustling foreign ports.
That these collections have been preserved, and are available to us today, suggests that the efforts of these women were recognized and respected by others, in many cases by their descendants. This exhibit explores the multitude of ways women mediated—through the lens of the camera—shifting roles in public and domestic life during a time of great social change in Maine and the nation. Women incorporated camera work into their daily lives, as artists, amateurs, preservationists, professionals, and as travelers and explorers, while photography altered the way men, women, and children saw the world, themselves, and each other.
Washington Street Gallery is open during EAC events, or by chance or by appointment. The Eastport Arts Center is at 36 Washington Street, Eastport and http://www.eastportartscenter.org, and is handicapped-accessible. More information about the exhibition, including photographer bios, may be found at http://penobscotmarinemuseum.org/magic-of-photography/through-her-lens/.