The Dyer Library and Saco Museum (DLSM) received three prestigious and crucially important grants this month for the care and interpretation of its collections. The Maine Antiques Dealers Association awarded $778 to conserve an important, early 19th-century waxwork portrait; the National Endowment for the Humanities contributed $6,000 toward new storage containers for works on paper in the Saco Museumís collection; and the Maine Humanities Council made a grant of $10,000 in support of an ongoing project to preserve the DLSMís Moving Panorama of Pilgrimís Progress and to make it accessible to worldwide audiences in new and innovative ways.

ďWe are honored to receive the support of these three leadership organizations,Ē said Leslie Rounds, Executive Director of the DLSM. ďThe funding that they have supplied will provide invaluable backing for our mission and programs in 2011.Ē

Maine Antiques Dealers Association
$778 from the Maine Antiques Dealers Association (MADA) will fully fund the conservation of a circa 1815-1827 waxwork portrait of Marianne Cutts Parks (1796-1875) of Saco. The portrait, modeled in high relief in wax and hand-colored, is attributed to George Miller and/or Johanne Christoph Rauschner, artists in this distinctive medium who were active in the Saco Bay Area at this time. The waxwork is currently being treated at the Williamstown Art Conservation Center in Massachusetts (

MADA is a non-profit consortium of antiques dealers in Maine who share a commitment to promote fair trade practices and relations within the antiques business, to promote and maintain a standard of ethics designed to inspire the confidence of the public, and to disseminate valuable trade information. In 1998, in order to "pledge its membership to the highest standards of service," the MADA Board of Directors established an endowment fund to promote education in, and knowledge of, historical Maine arts and decorative arts. Through the years, this program has benefited various Maine museums, historical societies, and preservation projects in their outreach and curatorial endeavors. For more information, please visit

National Endowment for the Humanities
A $6,000 Preservation Assistance grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) will support storage improvements for works on paper in the Saco Museumís collection, including the purchase of acid-free matboard and solander-style storage cases. The museumís collection of approximately 1,000 works on paper includes the most comprehensive collections anywhere by local 19th-century masters Charles Henry Granger and Gibeon Bradbury as well as works by nationally-renowned masters such as Winslow Homer, Wallace Nutting, and Edward Curtis, among many others.

The NEH is an independent grant-making agency of the United States government dedicated to supporting research, education, preservation, and public programs in the humanities. Their Preservation Assistance Grants help small and mid-sized institutions improve their ability to preserve and care for their humanities collections. For more information, visit

Maine Humanities Council
A Humanities Infrastructure grant in the amount of $10,000 has been awarded by the Maine Humanities Council (MHC) to support the creation of a full-size replica of the DLSMís Moving Panorama of Pilgrimís Progress, a remarkable 8 x 850-foot painting on muslin created in 1851. The panorama is currently being conserved at the Williamstown Art Conservation Center in Massachusetts (conservation costs were supported by a December 2009 grant from Save Americaís Treasures); however, even after conservation it will be too delicate to be performed in motion, as it was originally intended to be seen. The replica, which will be created by the Portland, Maine firm of Portland Color ( using high-resolution digital photography, will allow an unprecedented opportunity for modern viewers to see a historic panorama in motion.

The MHC is a private nonprofit organization, Maineís affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. It promotes strong communities and informed citizens by providing Mainers with opportunities to explore the power and pleasure of ideas. The Council's programs, and the projects which it supports through grants, are intended to encourage a deeper understanding of ourselves and others, foster wisdom in an age of information, and provide context in a time of change. The Maine Humanities Council is particularly interested in supporting projects that stimulate meaningful community dialogue, attract diverse audiences, are participatory and engaging, and invite discovery of the humanities in interesting and exciting ways. Grants are awarded to not-for-profit organizations that serve a Maine audience.

The MHC will also support 2011 activities at the Saco Museum via a grant to the University of New England in Biddeford ( for a spring 2011 course offering entitled Voyages and the Great Age of Sail. The course, which will be team-taught by Elizabeth A. De Wolfe, Professor in the History Department, and Saco Museum Education and Program Manager Camille Smalley, will result in an exhibition at the Saco Museum of the same name, opening May 7, 2011.