At Home in the Victorian Era
The 19th century was a time of great change. Rapid industrialization and the expansion of commerce led to an explosion in the production of consumer goods. At home people surrounded themselves with what seems to be - at least to modern eyes - an extravagant amount of clutter, creating over-filled and rather claustrophobic spaces. Yet to the Victorians these ornamental objects, and their arrangement, had meaning. They were essential components of the ideal refined home, the center of family and cultural life.
From the Elegant to the Everyday: 200 Years of Fashion in Northern New England
March 15 - May 3, 2014
From the Elegant to the Everyday: 200 Years of Fashion in Northern New England
Opening reception, Friday March 14 at 5:30 pm
March 15 through May 3, 2014
Drawn from the collection of the Saco Museum, as well as other institutions in Maine and New Hampshire, this exhibition will focus on the clothing worn by the inhabitants of northern New England from the 18th through the 20th centuries. It will include not only examples of "best" dress, but also items of everyday clothing. Fashionable attire was not confined to just special occasion garments or the clothing of the elite; even ordinary clothes reflected the current style of their day. In addition to outerwear such as 18th-century cloaks, ladies' gowns of the 19th century, and 20th-century men's suits and military uniforms, there will be a wide variety of accessories on view as well.
"After Hours" Maine Art Education Association Members Exhibition
January 14 through February 28, 2014
This exhibition will bring together the creative work of Art educators from around the state of Maine to celebrate the studio practice and exploration that takes place outside the classroom "after hours". A variety of mediums will be showcased including: drawing, painting, printmaking, photography, fiber art, sculpture, ceramics, digital art, and mixed media.
The Ninth Annual Festival of Trees: The Holly and the Ivy
November 29 through December 29, 2013
Join us for the ninth annual Festival of Trees at the Dyer Library and Saco Museum! The Festival of Trees is a community event to benefit the programs of the Dyer Library and Saco Museum.
JOHN HALEY'S CIVIL WAR
May 4 through November 10, 2013
The University of New England and the Saco Museum have teamed up this to create an exhibition celebrating the 150th anniversary of the Civil War. Dr. Elizabeth A. De Wolfe, Professor of History at the University of New England, and Camille Smalley, Collection and Research Manager for the Saco Museum, team-taught an exhibition class titled "John Haley's Civil War." The resulting exhibition of the same name, is curated by students in the class, will feature a treasure trove of artifacts related to the Civil War-prints by Winslow Homer, decorative arts, Civil War weaponry, uniforms, and much more. On the Dyer Library/Saco Museum Facebook Page, daily updates from Haley's diary are posted to track his adventure 150 years ago.
For more information on other Civil War Exhibitions happening this year, see the Maine Civil War Trail Website HERE: http://mainecivilwartrail.org/home/
"I My Needle Ply with Skill" Maine School Girl Needle Work of the Federal Era
January 12 through March 2, 2013
Join us for an in-depth look at the complex and lovely needlework created in Maine by schoolgirls of the late 18th and early 19th centuries.
HOOKED RUGS FROM ARTISTS OF "THE MAINE TIN PEDLAR"
January 14 through March 24, 2012
January 14 through March 24, 2012
Cozy up with some hooked rugs this winter with two warm and wonderful exhibitions at the Saco Museum! "Rugs All Marked Out" will celebrate the hooked rug innovator and entrepreneur Edward S. Frost, who launched a rug-pattern business right here in Biddeford, Maine, in the mid-19th-century. Also on view will be modern hooked rugs by members of the Maine Tin Pedlar, a group of local hooked rug artists named in honor of Frost.
Pictured: "Stained Glass Magic" by Deb Arcaro, photo courtesy The Maine Tin Pedlar.
RUGS ALL MARKED OUT: Biddeford's Edward S. Frost
January 14 through March 24, 2012
Cozy up with some hooked rugs this winter with two warm and wonderful exhibitions at the Saco Museum! "Rugs All Marked Out" celebrates the hooked rug innovator and entrepreneur Edward S. Frost, who launched a rug-pattern business right here in Biddeford, Maine, in the mid-19th-century. Originally presented at the Maine State Museum in 2006, "Rugs All Marked Out" features rugs, burlap patterns, and metal stencils from the Maine State Museum collection. The original exhibition is enhanced with Frost rugs and patterns from the Saco Museum's own collections, all recent acquisitions. Also on view are modern hooked rugs by members of the Maine Tin Pedlar, a group of local hooked rug artists named in honor of Frost.
Pictured: Pattern for Hooked Rug, ink on burlap, Edward S. Frost pattern #92, 1870s, collections of the Maine State Museum.
THE 2012 MILL-ENNIAL: Celebrating the Art and Artists of the Cities on the Saco
April 6 through June 10, 2012
48 works of art, 20 artists, two great locations, and one amazing community! Our biennial exhibition of work by artists associated with Saco, Biddeford, and Old Orchard Beach takes place simultaneously at the Saco Museum and at Engine in Biddeford. The 2012 Mill-ennial was organized by the Saco Museum in cooperation with Engine (www.feedtheengine.org). Presentation and promotion of the 2012 Mill-ennial was made possible, in part, with an Arts Visibility grant from the Maine Arts Commission.
UNCONVENTIONAL PORTRAITS: Photographs by Charles E. Moody
January 15 through February 26, 2011
BUY THE BOOK!
Charles E. Moody (1859-1915) was one of the most gifted and prolific photographers of the Saco River Valley. Come and find out more in this special exhibition co-organized by the Dyer Library, Saco Museum, and the McArthur Public Library in Biddeford. This exhibition is made possible, in part, by a grant from the Maine Arts Commission and the Maine Humanities Council.
January 15 through February 26, 2011
From gorgeous gowns to impossibly intricate treasures of glass and ceramics, see what we've been collecting for the past year and a half!
CELEBRATE STUDENT ART! RSU 23 Student Art Show
March 5 through April 23, 2011
Every other year, the Saco Museum comes alive with artwork produced by students in our public schools. This year student artwork is on display at both the Dyer Library and Saco Museum. Presented in conjunction with National Youth Art Month, "Celebrate Student Art: RSU 23 Art Show" will be on view March 5 through April 23, 2011.
Image: "Pop Art Food Sculpture" by Abby Dubois, Loranger Middle School, Old Orchard Beach, 8th Grade
VOYAGES AND THE GREAT AGE OF SAIL
May 7 through September 4, 2011
The University of New England and the Saco Museum will team up this summer to create an exhibition on the great age of sail in Maine. Dr. Elizabeth A. De Wolfe, Professor of History at the University of New England, and Camille Smalley, Program and Education Manager for the Saco Museum, will team-teach an exhibition class titled "Voyages and the Great Age of Sail." The resulting exhibition of the same name, curated by students in the class, will be on view at the Saco Museum May 7 through September 4, 2011. Voyages and the Great Age of Sail is made possible, in part, by a major grant from the Maine Humanities Council to the University of New England.
POINT OF DEPARTURE: Works by Diane Bowie Zaitlin
In June 2010, Saco artist Diane Bowie Zaitlin attended a residency at Great Spruce Head Island Artweek in Penobscot Bay. In the exhibit "Point of Departure" she provides a view of her creative process and the power of influence from a period of immersion in her artwork in a setting of intense beauty. "Point of Departure" will be on view at the Saco Museum May 7 through September 4, 2011.
Pictured: "Sea Sky II," encaustic on paper, 4 x 10 inches
HAPPY CAMP OF THE FREEBOOTERS: Playing Through Time, 1750-1950
June is BIG at the Dyer Library and Saco Museum with tons of great events all inspired by Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Tom Sawyer as part of “The Big Read.” The Big Read is a program funded through the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership the Institute of Museum and Library Services and Arts Midwest, which gives communities the opportunity to come together to read, discuss, and celebrate a single great work of literature. As part of The Big Read, one of the period rooms on the Saco Museum’s second floor has been completely re-done with children’s toys, furniture, and paintings from 1750-1950. For more information about The Big Read, please contact Camille Smalley at (207) 283-3861, ext. 115 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
DRAWN FROM THE RIVER: Drawings by Artists of the Saco River Valley
September 17 through November 13, 2011
Concurrent exhibitions at the Saco Museum this fall celebrate the art of drawing, presented in conjunction with The Maine Drawing Project (http://chitna.asap.um.maine.edu/mainedrawing/). "Drawn from the River: Drawings by Artists of the Saco River Valley" uses drawings from the Saco Museum's permanent collection to explore how drawing was part of the artistic process for 19th-century local artists like Gibeon Elden Bradbury and Charles Henry Granger. Presentation of the Saco Museum's Maine Drawing Project exhibitions has been made possible with the support of Saco & Biddeford Savings Institution.
Pictured: Gibeon Elden Bradbury (1833-1904) Two Pears, circa 1870, gouache, ink, and graphite on toned paper, Saco Museum, Gift of Kitty Tonis;
CHRISTY BERGLAND: Late Seasons of Great Pond
September 17 through November 13, 2011
Two concurrent exhibitions at the Saco Museum this fall will celebrate the art of drawing, presented in conjunction with The Maine Drawing Project (http://chitna.asap.um.maine.edu/mainedrawing/). "Christy Bergland: Late Seasons of Great Pond" will highlight a 16-piece series of drawings in a variety of media by Biddeford Pool artist Christy Berland. Presentation of the Saco Museum's Maine Drawing Project exhibitions has been made possible with the support of Saco & Biddeford Savings Institution.
Pictured: Christy Bergland, "Late Summer, Western Quadrant," 2008-09 from the series "Late Seasons of Great Pond," chalk pastel on paper, 24 x 18, photo courtesy of the artist.
TWO HUNDRED YEARS OF THE ACADEMY: Thornton Academy Bicentennial Exhibition
A special exhibition presented simultaneously at the Dyer Library and Saco museum this fall will be presented in conjunction with the bicentennial celebrations of Thornton Academy. Exploring tradition, mission and history, 200 Years of the Academy celebrates Thornton Academy’s place in local history and the nation during the school’s Bicentennial year. The exhibition will be on view at both the Dyer Library and the Saco Museum September 15 through November 13, 2011.
LET HEAVEN AND NATURE SING: Seventh Annual Festival of Trees
through December 31!
Join us for the seventh annual Festival of Trees at the Dyer Library and Saco Museum! The Festival of Trees is a community event to benefit the programs of the Dyer Library and Saco Museum. Dozens of gorgeously decorated trees and wreaths based upon this year's theme of "Let Heaven and Nature Sing" will fill the Saco Museum. Among the other highlights of the Festival are the Gala Reception on Saturday, December 17; a raffle of designer trees and wreaths concluding at the Gala; the popular Gingerbread Village; a Drawing Contest for area school children on view at the Dyer Library; visits with Santa and Mrs. Claus; Children's Crafts Day; and more. The Festival of Trees is free and open to the public, thanks to our sponsors, beginning Friday, November 25 at 5 p.m. through Saturday, December 31.
PRACTICING WHAT WE PREACH: Work by Maine Art Educators
January 16 through March 19, 2010
You've seen what the students can do in our biennial student art show, now take a look at the top-notch work being created by Maine's art teachers!
THE MILL-ENNIAL: Celebrating the Art and Artists of the Cities on the Saco
April 3 through June 13, 2010
Sixty-one works of art, 39 local artists, two great art venues, and one amazing community!
IN A PLACE BY HIMSELF: THE GRAPHIC WORLD OF WINSLOW HOMER
June 26 through November 14, 2010
America's most iconic artist finished his career right here on Saco Bay. This exhibition, on the 100th anniversary of his death here in Maine, clebrates his long and illustrious career as a graphic artist. "In a Place By Himself: The Graphic World of Winslow Homer" was made possible by a grant from Saco & Biddeford Savings Institution.
HOLIDAYS PAST: Sixth Annual Festival of Trees
November 26, through December 31, 2010
Our sixth annual holiday exhibition and fundraiser! Dozens of magnificently decorated trees and wreaths will be displayed and raffled off to benefit programs at the Dyer Library and Saco Museum. The Festival also includes a gingerbread village, visits with Santa, and many other events and activities for all ages throughout the month of December. Admission to the Festival of Trees is FREE thanks to the generosity of our many sponsors. The Festival opens on Friday, November 25 at 5 p.m. with a public tree-lighting ceremony at the Saco Museum. Don't miss this much-anticipated community event!
A Treasured Ten: A Decade of Collecting at the Saco Museum
July 5 through November 15, 2009
This summer, the Saco Museum's major exhibition, A Treasured Ten: A Decade of Collecting at the Saco Museum, will feature a dazzling array of additions to the museum's collections since the start of the millennium. Paintings by masters of the Hudson River School, rare and important furniture and silver by 19th-century Saco artisans, and a magnificent selection of folk art sculpture are among the highlights of this exhibition, on view July 5 through November 15, 2009
Faces of Literacy, Voices of Courage
October 2 through November 15, 2009
The special exhibition Faces Of Literacy, Voices Of Courage celebrates hope and success by highlighting people who have changed their lives through the Maine Literacy Volunteers Network. This special exhibition includes about 20 photographs of Maine literacy learners, their tutors, and families by students and recent graduates of Portland's Maine College of Art. The project will premiere with a special event in Portland on September 17 and will then travel to different venues throughout the state. The Saco Museum is proud to be the premiere exhibition venue for this thought-provoking and wide-ranging project. Faces of Literacy, Voices of Courage will be on view at the Saco Museum through November 15, 2009.
VISIONS OF SUGARPLUMS: Fifth Annual Festival of Trees 2009
Our fifth Annual Festival! Please join us for a month of gorgeous decorations, music, and fun for all ages! Silent auction concludes December 12, but the Festival remains on view through December 31.
Pastel Painters of Maine 2014 15th International Juried Exhibition for PASTELS ONLY
May 17 - June 14
The International Juried Exhibition for Pastels Only has been an annual event since 2000 with nationally-known pastel artists serving as jurors, judging awards and conducting demonstrations and workshops.
2013 1st Place - PPOM Award of Excellence
Lyuba Zhdanova, "Water-Lily"
10th Annual Festival of Trees
"Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas"
November 29th - December 31, 2014
Closed December 24th and 25th
Join us for holiday cheer and decorations at the Saco Museum. Purchase raffle tickets to win trees, wreaths, gifts certificates and more. Bring the whole family and everyone you know to support the Dyer Library Saco Museum during our biggest fundraiser of the year. Festival of Trees is a free event/ exhibit with raffle opportunities and events throughout December. For details click more.
If you'd like to participate in the planning process for the festival, sponsor a tree or wreath, or help with the decorating, email email@example.com
PAINTING ALONG THE SACO
5 through September 27, 2009
For more than two hundred years, the Saco River Valley has nurtured a
unique regional painting tradition. This special installation of works
from the Saco Museumâ€™s permanent collection spotlights some of the key
artists and subjects of that tradition, including portraits, landscapes,
and still lifes by Gibeon Bradbury, John Brewster, Jr., William S.
Gookin, Charles Henry Granger, William Matthew Prior, Hannah Skeele, and
others. Come celebrate these scenes of Saco, on view now through
September 27, 2009.
Beginning around 1800, the twin cities of Saco and Biddeford were
centers of industry, with the mighty falls near the mouth of the Saco
providing power for mills and factories. As the economic power of the
area grew, so did the wealth of the individuals who lived here. By the
middle of the nineteenth century, citizens of the Saco River Valley had
money to spend on fine things for their home and the desire to
participate in a nationally growing interest in the fine arts. At the
same time, the population of artists grew, establishing a local creative
economy that continues to this day.
Portraits were in particularly high demand in the 1800s. In the years
before photographyâ€”invented in the 1840sâ€”painted portraits were the only
way that families had to capture a likeness of their loved ones.
Portraits were also a sign of status. The larger a portrait and the more
skillfully it was done, the more expensive it was; therefore, a
particularly fine portrait announced the wealth and importance of
whomever it depicted. Some of the most celebrated portraits of Sacoâ€™s
early residents were painted by John Brewster, Jr., whose work is on
view in this gallery as well as in the gallery near the museumâ€™s front
Landscape became an increasingly popular subject for painting, as well.
In the second half of the 19th century, a concern emerged that the
American wilderness was being taken over by industry and urbanization.
This was of particular concern along the Saco, where factory life and
the logging industry dominated the lower half of the river. Some artists
celebrated the blending of nature and industry on their canvases, while
othersâ€”like the areaâ€™s most renowned resident landscape painter, Gibeon
Bradburyâ€”painted scenes that strove to capture the purity of the
southern Maine landscape.
Image credit: Charles Henry Granger, (1812-1893), Reading Room
Discussion, 1840-45, oil on canvas, Saco Museum Collection
FOR PASTELS ONLY:
Pastel Painters of Maine Tenth International Juried Exhibition
5 through June 28, 2009
The Pastel Painters of Maine, PPOM, is hosting their Tenth International
Juried Exhibition, For Pastels Only, at the Saco Museum. This special
exhibition and sale displays works of pastel artists from Maine and
There were 264 entries submitted by 100 artists from 22 states and
Canada. Of these, 60 pieces by 50 artists representing 16 states were
chosen. Sixteen of the exhibiting artists are from Maine, including
Sandy Katz of Saco. The juror of selection for the exhibit was Bob Rohm,
a signature member of the Pastel Society of America, National Academy of
Professional Plein Air Painters, Oil Painters of America, and the author
of The Painterly Approach.
Maggie Price will judge the exhibit and award over $5000 in prizes. She
is a signature member of The Pastel Society of America, The Pastel
Society of New Mexico, and the Plein Air Painters of New Mexico. Ms.
Price is also the co-founder of the magazine Pastel Journal, as well as
the author of Painting with Pastels: Easy Techniques to Master.
Ms. Price will conduct a demonstration at the Saco Museum following the
opening reception, and she will also lead a 5-day plein air workshop in
Freeport from June 15-19. Pre-registration is required for both the June
11 demonstration and for the workshop. For more information contact
Suzanne deLesseps at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Pastel Painters of Maine was established in 1999 by a group of
southern Maine artists interested in soft pastels. The mission of PPOM
is to promote the medium of soft pastel, to unite local and regional
artists, and to heighten the publicâ€™s awareness of the medium. Since its
founding, membership has grown to over 170 with members from throughout
the United States and Canada.
Member shows are held annually. Regular â€śpaint outsâ€ť are offered as well
as life painting groups. Membership is $25.00 per year, which includes
the newsletter. General meetings are held several times during the year.
For further information about the Pastel Painters of Maine and the For
Pastels Only exhibit at the Saco Museum, please contact Caren Michel,
email@example.com or visit PPOMâ€™s website at
Image credit: Diana Johnson (Freeport, Maine), "Marsh in the Autumn,"
pastel on paper, 8 x 9 inches. Photo courtesy Pastel Painters of Maine.
New England Wax Artists Working in Encaustic
us for this special exhibition featuring work from New England Wax
(N.E.W.), a regional association of artists who work in encaustic (a
beeswax-based painting medium). Juried by Katherine French, Director of
the Danforth Museum of Art in Framingham, Massachusetts, the exhibition
features 77 works by 25 artists from throughout New England, including
11 from Maine. It will be on view at the Saco Museum April 3 through May
30, 2009, with an opening reception this Thursday, April 2 at 5:30 p.m.
Encaustic, which translates as â€śto burn inâ€ť in ancient Greek, is a
time-honored painting medium using hot wax that dates back to the fifth
century B.C. The art form regained currency in the American art scene
with the work of Jasper Johns and other postwar painters. Today,
encaustic artists combine traditional techniques with contemporary media
and materials, contributing to its resurgence. N.E.W. brings together
artists in this region who are dedicated to investigating this
challenging medium. The works on view demonstrate the unique quality of
encaustic paintingâ€”luminous and translucent layers of color and a
sensuous surfaceâ€”as well as the variety of approaches to the technique.
Asked about her selection process for this exhibition, Ms. French noted,
â€śWhile ancient Egyptians created portraits, contemporary artists now use
the medium to experiment wildly. . . . Their ideas are endless, and this
sense of unlimited possibility is what makes Sacoâ€™s N.E.W. show
The Saco Museum joins many national and international institutions
recognizing the growing popularity of the encaustic medium in
contemporary artworks. This exhibition will provide a venue for the
public and regional artists to learn more about encaustic and about our
contemporary regional artistic traditions. A public lecture and
encaustic demonstrations will provide the opportunity to meet the
artists and talk about their process. Connections will also be made to
the Saco Museumâ€™s historical collections on view, which include
traditional waxworks and mourning wreaths made of wax flowers.
Heat Stroke was organized by New England Wax in collaboration with the
Saco Museum. The exhibition was supported by a grant from the Maine
Humanities Council and the Maine Arts commission.
Artists included in the Exhibition
Diane Bowie Zaitlin*
Pamala Crabb Burnham*
Jeanne Oâ€™Toole Hayman*
Julie Shaw Lutts
* denotes Maine artist
Katherine French has curated numerous exhibitions exploring Boston
Expressionism, including Jack Levine: Political Discourse and Hyman
Bloom: A Spiritual Embrace. Other notable shows include John Walker:
Passing Bells and George Nick: Spirit of Place. In February 2007, Ms.
French received an award for curatorial excellence for Joan Snyder, A
Painting Survey, 1969-2005 from the New England chapter of the
International Association of Art Critics. Under her direction, the
Danforth Museum of Art was recently named Outstanding Cultural
Organization for 2008 by the Massachusetts Arts Education Collaborative.
New England Wax (N.E.W.) is a professional organization of more than 70
artists who live and work in the six New England states. N.E.W. seeks to
enhance creative and professional development for its members by
providing opportunities for exhibitions, exchanging technical
information and promoting excellence in encaustic painting and
sculpture. Through exhibitions and workshops, N.E.W. encourages interest
in encaustic in the art world and by the general public. For more
information and news about this organization, visit
Image credit: Gregory Wright, "Congregation IV," 2008, encaustic. Photo
courtesy New England Wax.
CELEBRATE STUDENT ART: SACO/DAYTON K-8 ART SHOW
other year, the Saco Museum comes alive with artwork produced by
students in our public schools. Presented in conjunction with National
Youth Art Month, Celebrate Student Art: Saco/Dayton K-8 Art Show will be
on view February 27 through March 28, 2009.
This year, every single student from C. K. Burns School, Young School,
Governor John Fairfield School, and Dayton Consolidated School created
artwork for the exhibition, including paintings, pastels, sculpture, and
more. Many works by students at Saco Middle School are also included,
totaling some 1,800 objects on display. Almost every square inch of the
museumâ€™s galleries will be covered. The exhibit is organized and curated
by local art teachers Debra DiGregorio, Joanne Matusko, Diane Noble, and
Judy Puiia. All student artists and their guests will receive
complimentary admission to the show.
Youth Art Month is an annual observance each March to emphasize the
value of art education for all children and to encourage support for
quality school art programs. It was created in 1961 by Art and Creative
Materials Institute, a non-profit association of art and craft materials
manufacturers, in cooperation with the National Art Educators
Association. In 1984, ACMI created the Council for Art Education to
administer the national Youth Art Month program and encourage funding
for the program. Find out more at www.acminet.org/youth_art_month.htm.
Image credit: "Pop Art Heart," Cray-pas, by Samuel Legere, grade 7, Saco
A MATTER OF PERCEPTION: JURIED EXHIBITION BY ARTISTS WITH
more than ten years, VSA Arts of Maine has organized an exhibition of
art made by people with disabilities. The goals, then and now, are to
provide an opportunity for these artists to exhibit their work, to
increase awareness within the general population about the creativity
and talent of people with disabilities, and to promote improved
accessibility within Maine's arts and cultural facilities. The Saco
Museum is proud to be the premiere exhibition venue for the 2009
exhibition, A Matter of Perception: Juried Exhibition by Artists with
Disabilities, on view January 9 through February 22, 2009.
Four hundred pieces of art were submitted for inclusion in the
exhibition, from every corner of the state and in many media: stained
glass, sculpture, fiber art, photographs, watercolors, paintings, and
more. The artists come from a wide range of artistic training and
backgrounds, representing the spectrum of what it means to have a
disability. During 2008 every piece of art submitted was shown at least
once in fifteen exhibitions across the state. At each exhibition, groups
of jurors selected a small number of works to go into this 2009 juried
exhibition. After its debut at the Saco Museum, this juried show travels
across Maine throughout 2009.
This exhibition is the most recent in a series of collaborations between
The Saco Museum and VSA Arts Maine. The Saco Museum also hosted A Matter
of Perception in 2007 as well as The Wild and Ordinary Faces
of...Transition...Wonder, a special exhibition highlighting the work
produced by students in the fall 2007 Saco Transition Program.
VSA arts of Maine is a non-profit organization affiliated with the VSA
Arts international network, promoting education and lifelong learning
opportunities in the arts for people with disabilities. Founded in 1974
by Ambassador Jean Kennedy Smith, VSA Arts is an affiliate of the John
F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. The
letters reflect the Vision of an inclusive community, Strength in shared
resources and Artistic expression that unites us all. VSA Arts of Maine
provides arts, educational and cultural opportunities for children and
adults with disabilities in Maine. Programs include artist residencies
in schools, workshops for teachers and artists, mentoring for adult
artists with disabilities, exhibitions of work by artists with
disabilities, and partnerships with cultural venues throughout the state
to improve accessibility.
A Matter of Perception: Juried Exhibition by Artists with Disabilities
is organized by VSA Arts of Maine.
Image credit: Jennifer Blake, "Acadia Path," oil, 18 x 24 inches.
First Impressions: New Work by Peregrine Press Artists
Impressions: New Work by Peregrine Press Artistsâ€ť features the first
public showing of a special portfolio of fine prints and other work
created by artists affiliated with the Press, a printmaking cooperative
located in the Bakery Building in Portland, Maine. The guest curator is
Linda Konheim Kramer, Executive Director of the Nancy Graves Foundation
in New York City. The exhibition is on view October 3 through November
Member artists were invited to contribute an original print to the
inaugural portfolio project, titled â€śFirst Impressions,â€ť which is to be
exhibited for the first time at the Saco Museum and will then be
available to travel to other museums and galleries in the United States
and Canada. Each artist submitted an 11 x 15 inch work, printed in an
edition of ten on various papers, using different kinds of printmaking
techniques. The prints are housed in a container designed and
constructed by David Wolfe of Wolfe Editions in Portland, who has also
hand-set and printed a colophon for each boxed set of prints.
Along with the Portfolio Project, additional work by Peregrine artists
will be exhibited in the Saco Museumâ€™s main gallery space. Linda Konheim
Kramer writes: â€śAs guest curator, I had the privilege of viewing new
prints submitted by Peregrine artists and selecting some work from each
printmaker for inclusion in the exhibition. The diversity of styles and
techniques found in this show is amazing, considering how closely these
printmakers work together.â€ť
Founded in 1991, Peregrine Press offers a group of like-minded
printmakers in the community a viable situation in which to share
equipment, pool technical expertise, and exchange ideas. Printmaking is
a primary medium for the associated artists. All the members are
experienced printmakers who work in a wide variety of media and styles
but have in common the desire to experiment with various techniques and
print their own work. Their prints are often produced in unique or in
small editions. The work in the exhibition ranges in technique from
traditional woodcuts and etchings to Xerox lithographs and monotypes,
frequently enhanced by other media. Peregrine Press has provided many
printmakers with an affordable and accessible way to continue their
practice of printmaking. The studio at the Bakery Building in Portland
is run cooperatively by its 28 members and features an acid room for
intaglio printing, a newly built darkroom for non-toxic photo-polymer
etching, and two printing presses. Members use a wide variety of
printmaking methods, including woodcut, collography, monotype, and
This is the second exhibition at the Saco Museum of prints by Peregrine
artists. As part of the 2006 statewide Maine Print Project, the
University of Maine at Presque Isle curated a group exhibition of the
work of Peregrine artists, which opened in Presque Isle and traveled to
the Saco Museum.
Peregrine Press Artists
Judy Allen Efstathiou
Mary K. Brennan
Kate Cheney Chappell
Jeanne Oâ€™Toole Hayman
Andrea van Voorst van Beest
First Impressions: New Work by Peregrine Press Artists has been
organized by the Peregrine Press in association with the Saco Museum.
KICK OFF THE HOLIDAY SEASON WITH â€śDECK THE HALLSâ€ť: 2008 FESTIVAL OF
us for the 2008 Festival of Trees at the Dyer Library and Saco Museum!
Dozens of magnificently decorated trees and wreaths, as well as
artist-designed ornaments and stockings, will fill the galleries of the
Saco Museum. Now in its fourth year, the Festival of Trees is a
community event to benefit the programs of the Dyer Library and Saco
Museum. Deck the Halls: 2008 Festival of Trees is free and open to the
public, thanks to our sponsors, beginning the evening of November 28
through Saturday, December 13.
Come drink in the spirit of the season and place a silent bid on a your
favorite tree or holiday decoration. Trees, wreaths and holiday
decorations are available for bidding through the Gala on Saturday,
December 13. Ornaments, stockings, and silk table arrangements will be
on sale throughout the festival. All proceeds benefit the educational
and community programming efforts of the Dyer Library/Saco Museum.
One of the highlights of the festival every year is the drawing contest,
open to students in Saco, Biddeford, and Old Orchard Beach schools. The
drawing contest entries will be on view at the Dyer Library throughout
the Festival of Trees, with special recognition for the contest winners.
Youâ€™re sure to find something you like on our lively schedule of events.
The festival opens at 5 pm on Friday, November 28 with a tree lighting
and ribbon cutting ceremony. Join us for hot chocolate and a first
glimpse of the Festival of Trees! Other great family events include:
Teen Coffee House
Friday, December 5, 6:30 - 9 p.m.
Childrenâ€™s Crafts Day
Deering Room, Dyer Library
Saturday, December 6, 9:30 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Mrs. Clausâ€™s Gingerbread Tea
Deering Room, Dyer Library
Sunday, December 7
Seatings at 1 and 2:30 p.m.
RESERVATIONS REQUIRED; space is limited
Call 283-3861, x 102 to reserve a spot.
Saturday, December 13, 6 - 9 pm
Tickets are $30/person; space is limited
Tickets may be purchased in advance at the Dyer Library or Saco Museum
Extended hours for Deck the Halls: 2008 Festival of Trees are: Monday,
Wednesday, and Friday: 12 â€“ 5: Tuesday and Thursday: 12 â€“ 8; Saturday:
9:30 â€“ 6; and Sunday: 12 â€“ 5. Admission is FREE thanks to the generous
sponsorship of local businesses and individuals. For more information
call 283-3861, press 2 for the museum and then press 0.
Folk Art Dolls by Mary Ellen Roberge
In conjunction with the Maine Folk Art exhibit, the Saco Museum is
pleased to present â€śA Seamstressâ€™s Art: Dolls by Mary Ellen Roberge,â€ť an
exhibition celebrating the creativity, culture and influences of a woman
who touched many peopleâ€™s lives with her art.
The exhibition opens on Thursday, June 12 with a reception from 5:30 â€“
7:30 pm. The public is invited to join us for this very special evening
and light refreshments will be served. â€śA Seamstressâ€™s Artâ€ť will be on
view at the museum through Sunday, August 17, 2008.
Mrs. Robergeâ€™s dolls tell a story not only of art and function but also
immigration, economic survival and influence on future generations. Mary
Ellen was an extraordinary seamstress and doll making was her artistic
outlet. Her creativity deeply influenced several of her children, who
have gone on to become artists in their own right. The exhibit will
showcase her dolls and the stories they represent and offer a glimpse
into everyday life of Franco-American life in Biddeford in the mid-20th
Maine Folk Art Trail
Saco Museum is one of eleven museums across Maine exhibiting folk art
collections simultaneously as part of the Maine Folk Art Trail 2008, a
coordinated statewide exhibition. This is a once in a lifetime
opportunity for people to see some of Americaâ€™s best folk art and
explore various museums and their communities. The Saco Museum is
exhibiting items from its collections as well as objects on loan from
the Brick Store Museum in Kennebunk and the Portland Fire Museum. The
Maine Folk Art exhibit will be on display at the Saco Museum May 15
through September 28, 2008.
Folk art is a genre that combines art, craft and functionality. If you
were to ask a room full of collectors, curators, museum directors and
antique dealers to define â€śfolk art,â€ť a lively discussion would be sure
to follow. Folk art is represented in many forms including portraiture,
landscapes, still life, decorated furniture, schoolgirl art, trade
signs, pottery, marine arts, weathervanes and other sculpture. The Maine
Folk Art exhibition at the Saco Museum includes fantastic hand
carved/painted signs, toys, portraiture, weathervanes and furniture. The
magnificent wood carvings of Adelard Cote (1889 â€“ 1974), a
French-Canadian folk artist who lived in Biddeford, are an important
part of the Saco Museum collection that will be featured in the
The Maine Folk Art Trail collaborative exhibition was organized by Dr.
Charles Burden, a Maine native and co-founder of the Bath Maritime
Museum (now the Maine Maritime Museum), and Ray Egan, a collector and
former board member of the American Museum of Folk Art in New York City.
The other museums participating in the folk art trail are:
Bates College Museum of Art
Colby College Museum of Art
Farnsworth Art Museum
Maine Historical Society
Maine Maritime Museum
Maine State Museum
Museums of Old York
Penobscot Marine Museum
Rufus Porter Museum
Sabbathday Lake Shaker Museum
The exhibition dates vary at each venue so please visit the web site
www.mainefolkarttrail.org for more details. The Maine Folk Art Trail
sponsors are: Davis Family Foundation, Carl M. Lindberg Family
Foundation, American Folk Art Society, Northeast Auctions, Bill and
Sally Gemmill, Maine Antique Digest, Maine Antique Dealers Association
and an anonymous donor. The exhibition specifically at the Saco Museum
is made possible, in part, thanks to the sponsorship of Island Point.
A PAIR OF "BAD GIRLS" FROM SACO
In the fall of 1906, two teenaged Saco girls were found guilty of
â€śfalling into habits of vice and immorality.â€ť Both girls were sentenced
by Judge John Deering to the â€ścustody and guardian ship of the Maine
Industrial School for girls.â€ť To learn more about this pair of Sacoâ€™s
bad girls and the Maine Industrial School for girls at Hallowell, please
join us for a presentation by Camille Smalley at 7pm on Tuesday, April
15th in the Deering Room of the Dyer Library. The presentation is free
and open to the public. Suggested donation is $5.
Camille Smalley is graduating this spring with a Batchelorâ€™s degree in
English from the University of New England. Sacoâ€™s Bad Girls and the
Maine Industrial School for girls is the focus of her Womenâ€™s Studies
thesis. Smalley began pursuing this topic in the fall of 2006 during a
class taught by Dr. Elizabeth A. De Wolfe. The idea grew out of two
snippets from the Biddeford Daily Journal of September and October 1906,
and evolved into a longer research project. Smalley presented this
research at the 21st Annual Maine Womenâ€™s Studies Conference at the
University of Maine, Orono. Camille Smalley is a member of the Exhibit
Team that developed and installed the current exhibition at the Saco
Museum, Mary Bean: The Factory Girl or the Victim of Seducation. Ms.
Smalley will be pursuing a Graduate Degree in American and New England
Studies at the University of Southern Maine this fall.
AN 1850 MURDER REVEALS THE CHANGING TIMES
April 1850, the body of a young woman was discovered in a stream near
Storer Street in Saco, Maine. Investigation revealed that it was murder.
The exhibition Mary Bean: The Factory Girl or the Victim of Seduction
explores the story behind this murder. The exhibit will be on view at
the Saco Museum from Feb. 29 â€“ May 24, 2008. A special thanks to our
sponsors who have helped to make this exhibition possible: DeWolfe &
Wood Rare Books, The Kent State University Press, Saco & Biddeford
Savings Institution and University of New England.
The Dyer Library/Saco Museum (DL/SM) collaborated with Dr. Elizabeth A.
DeWolfe and the Department of History at the University of New England
(UNE) to create a fascinating exhibition based upon DeWolfeâ€™s recently
published book The Murder of Mary Bean and Other Stories. Using the
story of Berengera Caswellâ€™s life and death (Mary Bean was an alias),
the exhibition explores several topics, including the changing role of
women; competing medical practice and philosophies; the evolution of the
criminal justice process; and sensationalism in the press. Newspaper
accounts, textile artifacts, ladies accessories and numerous other items
will be used to tell Berengeraâ€™s story.
Andrea Cochrane, Saco Museum Director, and DeWolfe team taught a course
at UNE in Fall 2007 where 15 students learned about museums and public
history through the design and development of an exhibition about the
Mary Bean story. Seven students are continuing to work with the museum
the Spring 2008 semester through internship/citizenship to install the
exhibition and develop and manage programs and assist with school tours.
"In the Shadow of Intolerance"
honor of Black History Month, the Saco Museum is pleased to present the
exhibit â€śIn the Shadow of Intolerance,â€ť a remarkable collection of high
quality, black and white photographs assembled by businessman Sam
Zaitlin. The collection includes rare and powerful images of the U.S.
Civil Rights movement and key people associated with that movement, as
well as a series of images documenting the Nuremberg Trials. The exhibit
is on view through March 1.
â€śIn the Shadow of Intoleranceâ€ť includes the work of four photographers:
(b. 1942), E.O. Goldbeck (1892 â€“ 1986), Yevgeny Khaldei (1917 â€“ 1997)
and Ernest Whithers (1922 â€“ 2007). Lyon, recognized as a photographer,
filmmaker and writer of the late 20th century, became involved in the
civil rights movement in 1962 when he joined the Student Nonviolent
Coordinating Committee (SNCC). His powerful images from this era are
recognized for documenting the â€śbehind the scenesâ€ť aspects of the
movement. Goldbeck is known for his large-scale group portraits and is
often referred to as the unofficial photographer of the U.S. military
during World War II. Khaldei worked as photographer with the official
Soviet press agency and covered the Nuremberg Trial of Nazi war
Whithers, an African American who worked as a photographer in the Army
during World War II and opened his own studio upon his return from the
war, documented numerous historic moments of the civil rights movement
in America during the 1950s and 1960s. Whithers traveled with some of
the movementâ€™s legendary leaders, like the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King,
Jr., and many times he was the first, if not the only, photographer to
capture a poignant and historic moment on film. While Whithers may have
been had unprecedented access, his photographs were used by the
African-American papers, but not the national wire services.
Mr. Zaitlin says that he collected these images because â€śhistory
fascinates me and maintaining a memory of historical events is
important. Otherwise we wonâ€™t learn from the past.â€ť Universality of
intolerance is the common theme that links these photographs. When asked
what he hopes people will take away from this exhibit, Zaitlin replied
that there are several things, including â€śThat they understand the
damage and pain intolerance inflicts on societies and individuals alike.
But at the same time, that they see the beauty and dignity of Martin
Luther King, both at Medgar Eversâ€™ funeral and as he sits
contemplatively before delivering his eulogy at the funeral for the four
girls killed in the Klan bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church.â€ť
Join us for Mr. Zaitlin's Gallery Talks on Tuesday, Feb. 12 at 1:30 pm
and Thursday, Feb. 22 at 7 pm. Both talks are free and open to the
Join us Thursday, Feb. 14 for a talk by Gerald Talbot, author and leader
in the Maine Civil Rights movement. Talk begins at 7 pm - Main Gallery
in the Saco Museum.
All programs are free and open to the public. Suggested donation: $5
The Wild and Ordinary Faces of... Transition...Wonder.
There will be some new faces hanging around at the Saco Museum for the
next couple of weeks. The Wild and Ordinary Faces
of...Transition...Wonder is an exhibition of masks created by students
and faculty of the Saco Transition Program in partnership with VSA arts
of Maine Artist Residency Program, led by artist Marita Kennedy Castro.
The display runs through Saturday, January 26, 2008.
The Saco Transition Program is a nontraditional, innovative high school
setting that promotes academic and social emotional development for
at-risk students with special needs. This program is designed for
students who require a more intensive, supportive, educational
environment to access their academic potential in order to work toward a
high school diploma.
VSA arts of Maine is a non-profit organization providing arts,
educational and cultural opportunities for children and adults with
disabilities in Maine. Through innovative and inclusive arts programs,
VSA arts of Maine promotes the creative power in people with
disabilities. Artist Residencies and Community Arts Programs are
designed to provide unique learning experiences through the arts for all
students in K-12 inclusive and special needs classrooms.
Winter Wonderland at Saco Museum
The Saco Museum is filled with a festive holiday atmosphere with over 50
custom decorated trees, wreaths and gingerbread houses! Don't wait --
the Festival of Trees is only on display through Sat. Dec. 8!
Trees, wreaths, gingerbread houses and great gift certificates are
available for silent bidding through Sat. Dec. 8. All proceeds benefit
the Dyer Library/Saco Museum.
For more information call 283-3861, press 2 for the museum and then
Great family events related to the Festival are:
Acoustic Teen Coffee House
Friday, Nov. 30 6:30 - 9 pm
Kids Krafts at the Library
Sat. Dec. 1 9:30 - 2
Teddy Bear Tea
Deering Room, Dyer Library
Sun. Dec. 2
Seatings at 1 and 2:30
RESERVATIONS Required; Space is limited
Call 283-3861 x 102 to reserve a spot.
Sat. Dec. 8
6 - 9 pm
Tickets are $25/person
Tickets must be purchased in advance at the Library or Museum.
Space is limited.
Civil War exhibit at Saco Museum
Merit is better than fame: The Civil War & the Women & Men of Maine
we stood in the drizzle, all orders given in whispers, and although we
knew we faced a dreadful battle, we were not sorry to hear the voice of
Chanticleer, announcing the dawn of a new day. There was something
terribly weird in this massing of troops at this time of day, in the
hooting of owls as the dark figures of men moved through the pines, in
the sobbing of the wind through the wet trees. The order to move to the
attack wasnâ€™t half so disagreeable as one might think.â€ť â€“ Excerpt form
the diary of Private John W. Haley, 17th Maine Regiment, May 12th, 1864,
describing the beginning of the battle of Spotsylvania
Private John W. Haleyâ€™s journal is both an engaging and heart wrenching
account of the Civil War. A Saco resident, Haley kept a detailed account
of his time serving in the Union Army during the War. The Saco Museum
worked with private individuals and other institutions to compile an
extraordinary exhibit focusing exclusively on Maineâ€™s role in the
conflict - How were the women and men of Maine influential in turning
the tide of the War? Who were these people? The display will showcase
musket balls, rifles, swords, daguerreotypes, photographs, diaries,
letters and uniforms to tell the story of Maine people and the war.
The exhibit is on view now through Sunday, November 11, 2007.
Special thanks to our exhibition sponsor General Dynamics.
Two great exhibits: Wrinkles in Time: Historic Quilts to Art Quilts
and A Matter of Perception, art from VSA Arts of Maine
in Time: Historic Quilts to Art Quilts and
A Matter of Perception - presented by VSA Arts of Maine.
Both exhibitions were on view through July 8, 2007.
For more information, read on...
A Matter of Perception, a juried exhibition organized by VSA arts of
Maine. VSA arts of Maine is part of the VSA arts international network,
dedicated to promoting education and lifelong learning opportunities in
the arts for people with disabilities.
VSA arts of Maine is a 501 (c)3 non-profit organization providing arts,
educational and cultrual opportunities for children and adults with
disabilities in Maine.
Wrinkles in Time
The Saco Museum and Art Quilts Maine (AQM) were pleased to present
Wrinkles in Time: Historic Quilts to Art Quilts. Using quilts from the
Museumâ€™s collection, the history and tradition of quilts was explored in
order to provide a context for appreciating how quilting has evolved
into an art form. Over 80 art quilts from AQM members were on display,
including interpretations of the traditional patterns â€śLog Cabinâ€ť and
â€śNew York Beauty.â€ť
Long viewed as merely a functional necessity, historic or antique quilts
are increasingly recognized for the expressions of creativity or
insights into community life that they represent. The type of material,
batting or lining, pattern and colors offer many clues about the woman
(or women) who made a particular quilt. Selections from the Saco
Museumâ€™s wonderful crazy quilt collection were on display as well as
other styles of quilts.
Founded in 1998, Art Quilts Maine is part of the state-wide guild, Pine
Tree Quilters Guild. AQM supports its members in their exploration of
quilting as a contemporary art form through demonstrations, workshops
and exhibits. With roots in traditional quilting, artists may utilize a
myriad of visual art techniques, including painting, printing,
photography, graphic design, assemblage and sculpture to create an art
quilt. Currently, AQM has about 45 members throughout the state of
In conjunction with the quilt exhibit, contemporary embroidery pieces by
members of the Southern Maine Chapter of the Embroiderer's Guild were on
exhibit for the month of May at the Dyer Library and Saco Museum. Like
quilting, embroidery has rich traditions associated with it. Embroidery
and needlework from the museumâ€™s collection were on exhibit in various
galleries in the museum during the course of the quilt exhibit.
Student Art Show Best Ever!
talent! Fresh ideas! Fantastic! Awesome! Colorful! Inspiring!
These are all words that visitors have used to describe the current K -
8 Student Art Show. Celebrate Student Art, a biennial exhibit, features
artwork from almost all the students from Young, Fairfield, Burns,
Dayton Consolidated and Saco Middle School.
From 3-D wooden figures, to colorful flowers to friendly paper mache
spiders -- this exhibition is bound to make you smile!!!
Perfume bottles on display
In the spirit of Valentine and romance, stop by the museum to see our
new display of perfume bottles from the museum's collection. This small
exhibit was organized by Sara Vandeventer, a junior at University of New
England, who is working with the museum staff as an intern this
Peregrine Press celebrates 15 years
year Peregrine Press celebrates 15 years as a thriving printmaking
collaborative. The work of all 30 Peregrine Press members is represented
in the show. A broad spectrum of printing techniques are featured
including lithograph, etching, intaglio and monotypes. The exhibit
coincides with the major statewide initiative Maine Print Project:
Celebrating 200 Years of Printmaking in Maine.
Come â€śHome for the Holidaysâ€ť with the second annual Festival of
Saco Museum is proud to present their second annual Festival of Trees.
Visit the Dyer Library and Saco Museum this holiday season and be
delighted by our fifty decorated trees of all sizes, wreaths, and a
gingerbread village complete with a train, vintage ornaments, and teddy
bears. In addition, drawings by local school children will fill the
walls of the Dyer Library. This year the festival will be open from
Saturday, November 25th through Sunday, December 10th. The Festival will
be free of charge thanks to the generosity of over 80 supporting
businesses and individuals.
In celebration of the Festival, the Dyer Library and Saco Museum will be
enjoying special extended hours:
Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday 12-5; Tuesday and Thursday 12-8;
and Saturday 9:30-6.
Trees, wreaths and gingerbread houses will be available for bidding
during a week-long silent auction that culminates at the Gala on Friday,
December 1st. For your convenience, large trees purchased from the
auction will be delivered, decorated, free of charge within a 25-mile
Several free programs are being offered in conjunction with â€śHome for
the Holidaysâ€ť. These programs are:
Progressive Outdoor Tree Lighting
Friday, November 24th.
Join us downtown to kick-off the holiday season. First tree lighting is
outside at the Dyer Library / Saco Museum at 5pm; the second, at
Main/Storer Streets in Saco at 5:45pm; and the third, at Biddeford City
Hall at 7pm.
Join Santa for a parade beginning at Main/Storer Streets at 6:15 and
leading to Biddeford City Hall for the final tree lighting of the
Saturday, December 2nd and 9th
In the Deering Room of the Dyer Library.
Teddy Bear Tea*
Sunday, December 3rd (snow date December 10th)
seatings at 1:00, 2:30, and 4:00
In the Deering Room of the Dyer Library.
*Reservations are required.
Teen Coffee House
Friday, December 8th (snow date December 9th)
At the Saco Museum.
There will be a raffle drawing for a guitar at this event!
Congregation Etz Chaim in Biddeford marks 100th Anniversary with
Exhibition at Saco Museum
Congregation Etz Chaim in Biddeford marks 100th Anniversary with
Exhibition at Saco Museum.
Join Congregation Etz Chaim and the Saco Museum as we celebrate 100
years of Jewish life in Saco and Biddeford!
Visitors to the exhibit will be able to examine Jewish life over the
last century through six aspects of history. Prepared by Jennie
Aranovitch, a descendent of one of the first Jewish families in the
area, the collection includes community photos, historical documents,
cultural artifacts, and films of synagogue events.The exhibition runs
through Sunday, November 12th, 2006.
Ocean Park Celebrates 125 Years
The Ocean Park Association and the Saco Museum are pleased to present
"Chautauqua by the Sea: Ocean Park Celebrates 125 Years", on display at
the Saco Museum until August 27th. The exhibit combines the history,
religion, culture, and leisure activities of this local community. A
part of the greater Chautauqua movement of the late 1800's, Ocean Park
has remained a distinct and active aspect of our local heritage.
In addition to the exhibit, a variety of programming will be presented:
July 20th "The History of the Chautauqua Movement", presented by Frank
Gwalthney in the Deering Room of the Dyer Library, 371 Main Street,
Saco. Admission is free.
July 27th "Music of the late 19th Century", a lecture and demonstration
by conductor William Fred Scott in the Temple, 50 Temple Avenue, Ocean
August 1st "Stories of Ocean Park", a lecture by OPA Business Manager
Richard Skillin in Jordan Hall, 48 Temple Avenue, Ocean Park.
August 3rd "A History of the Free Will Baptists", presented by Frank
Gwalthney in Jordan Hall, 48 Temple Avenue, Ocean Park.
All programs start at 7:30 pm and have a suggested donation of $5
(excluding the July 20th lecture).
The exhibition The Best & The Bizarre:
Museum Jubilee - 140 years of history, curiosities & decorative arts is
on view at the Saco Museum. This major exhibition celebrates the
museumâ€™s rich history and its remarkable collection of decorative arts,
textiles and furniture as well as some of the bizarre or unusual items.
The breadth of the museumâ€™s permanent collection means that there is
something for everyone to enjoy from birds, antiques, beautiful
costumes, a sword made out of Chinese coins and a 21-pound lock!
Founded in 1866 as the York Institute, the Saco Museum is one of the
oldest museums in Maine and houses an outstanding collection of 18th and
19th century paintings, furniture, decorative arts and natural history
artifacts. With over 11,000 objects to choose from for the creation of
this exhibit, the museum staff selected some of the best items in the
permanent collection in specific areas, including furniture, costume,
glass, ceramics, and natural history, as well as unusual or curious
items. The exhibit features items from the collection that have regional
and national significance, such as the Johnson-Wolcott camera, the first
working camera patented in the United States in 1840 and portraits by
John Brewster, one of the finest early American folk art painters. The
Saco Museum has the largest known collection of Brewster paintings. In
addition, the exhibition includes rare 19th century bird's eye view
lithographs of Saco and Biddeford - the "Google Earth" of their day.
These enhanced perspective colored prints of the cities show a detailed
view of every building in the downtowns in 1875.
Thanks to students in a television production class at Thornton Academy,
the exhibition will include a video about the Johnson-Wolcott camera. A
slide show about the Pilgrimâ€™s Progress panorama, another treasure in
the museumâ€™s collection, will also be part of the display. Historic
images, original documents and objects will be used to capture the story
of the museumâ€™s history. The Best & The Bizarre will be on view through
October 1, 2006.
Garden Artistry: Past & Present Exhibition
Artistry: Past & Present is on display from February 16 - May 14, 2006.
This show features three different exhibitions. The Lost Gardens of New
England is an exhibition organized by Historic New England and presented
by the Society for the Preservation of New England Antiquities, Boston,
MA. It draws upon the wealth of images â€“ drawings, watercolors, and
historic photographs â€“ in Historic New Englandâ€™s collection.
Artist in Your Garden is a collaborative exhibit between Saco
watercolorist Judith Kinsman and Saco garden designer Carol Galli. In
conjunction with Artist in Your Garden, the Saco Museum is offering a
4-part watercolor class taught by Ms. Kinsman and a 3-part garden design
class led by Carol Galli.
Sacoâ€™s Historic Parks & Gardens is an exhibition developed by museum
staff and volunteers and uses historic photographs, postcards, maps and
landscape plans to explore how some of Sacoâ€™s public and private
landscapes and gardens have changed or vanished through the years.
Pepperell Park and Laurel Hill Cemetery are two of the featured
landscape spaces in this exhibit.
Making Spirits Bright: A Festival of Trees
Saco Museum presents the first annual Festival of Trees. Making Spirits
Bright is open December 3rd through December 11th. Families will enjoy
vintage holiday ornaments, 21 designer trees, 10 youth trees, children's
trees, a gingerbread village, and a teddy bear display.
Thanks to the support of our sponsors the entire Festival is FREE!
Be sure to stop by and vote for your favorite tree and gingerbread house
and bid on a tree in the Silent Auction. Bid on a tree for yourself or
give it as a gift to another organization or family. Trees will be
delivered within a 25 mile radius. Delivery time will be arranged with
the winning bidder. All proceeds benefit the Saco Museum.
Special Museum HOURS:
Saturday Dec 3 & 10 - 9:30 am - 6:00 pm
Sunday Dec. 4 & 11 Noon - 6 pm
Monday Dec. 5 Noon - 6 pm
Tuesday Dec. 6 Noon - 8 pm
Wed. Dec. 7 Noon - 6 pm,
Thurs. Dec. 8 Noon - 8 pm
Friday Dec. 9 Noon - 8 pm
Simple Gifts - The Alfred Shakers 1787 - 1931
The exhibition at the Saco Museum, Simple Gifts: The Alfred Shakers
1783-1931, brings together some of the most celebrated pieces from the
Alfred (Maine) community. Over 300 historic images, drawings, furniture,
smalls, and fancy goods are used to explore all aspects of Alfred Shaker
community life, including industries and religion.
This is the first major exhibit in many years of Maine Shaker items
outside Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village in New Gloucester, Maine.
Sabbathday Lake is the only active Shaker community in the world and is
where the Alfred Shakers moved in 1931. Simple Gifts is a collaborative
effort between the Saco Museum and Sabbathday Lake Shaker Museum.
For more information, photos and a lecture schedule, follow this link.
New England Watercolor Society - Regional Show
The Annual Regional Show of the New England Watercolor Society was on
display at the Saco Museum from June 30 - August 7, 2005. This juried
show featured 100 of New England's finest watercolor artists from Maine,
New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut. Any
artist in New England was eligible to submit artwork for the juror to
review. Fifteen artists from Maine had work in the exhibit which
encompasses three galleries at the museum. A wide range of artistic
styles are represented from traditional to abstract contemporary.
Barn Again! Celebrating an American Icon
The Saco Museum is pleased to be one of three Maine venues to host "Barn
Again! Celebrating an American Icon." This Smithsonian traveling exhibit
examines the origin and fate of the barn in its various roles as an
agricultural building and icon. The exhibit explores how barns were
built and how their uses have changed.
Additional exhibits and programming developed by the Saco Museum will
highlight the region's farming history and explore how it has changed
over the last 40 years. Artifacts from the Museum's permanent
collection, as well as items on loan from community residents, will be
used to help tell the story of dairy farming, marsh haying, and ice
harvesting. Timber framing, a common construction technique for many
older and historic barns, will also be explored in the exhibit.
EXHIBITION DATES: April 7 - June 8, 2005
Barn Again! was created by the Museum on Main Street, a collaboration
between the Smithsonian Institution and the Federation of State
Humanities Councils. Barn Again is made possible in Maine by the Maine
Celebrations of Student Art!
The creativity, color and variety of artwork created by the K - 8
students in Saco and Dayton was the focus of this exhibit. With art from
hundreds of students included in the exhibit, almost every square inch
of wall space was covered!
The Painters' Panorama of Pilgrim's Progress
The gigantic "Panorama of Pilgrim's Progress"--known as "The Painters'
Panorama" because of the participation of painters from the Hudson River
School of landscape painting -- is one of the Saco Museum's most
The panorama was a popular 19th century entertainment combining elements
of painting and theater. Giant scenes would move across the front of a
hall in this precursor to cinema. The "Panorama of Pilgrim's Progress"
was considered the greatest panorama of its day (the mid 19th century)
because it was executed by well-trained artists and included designs by
Daniel Huntington, Jasper Cropsey, and Frederic Edwin Church, still
considered one of America's best landscape painters.
In 1848 two aspiring young artists connected with the National Academy
of Design in New York conceived of the idea of creating an eight-foot
high, 1200 foot long panorama illustrating John Bunyan's religious
allegory in 54 scenes. For Edward Harrison May (1824-1887) and Joseph
Kyle (1815-1863), the panorama was a logical step in following recent
trends in popular art and entertainment. Panoramas were at the crest of
their commercial success in the 1840's and 1850's.
The project was a runaway success, selling $100,000 in tickets in just
six months. The artists decided to make another, this time painted by
Kyle and Jacob Dallas. With great reviews and high praise publicized
along the route, the second version of the panorama toured the U.S.
throughout the 1850's. In its day, it was the Cadillac of panoramas, the
product of the finest artists and illustrators working in America.
Last exhibited in the 1890's and long considered lost, 800 feet of the
painting were discovered in the collection of the Saco Museum in 1996.
After its rediscovery, the painting toured several museums nationally
and was described in the New York Times (April 4, 1999) as a "valuable
and complex document".
Today it is an absolutely unique artifact. It is one of only a handful
of surviving moving panoramas, and the only one to feature enormous,
academically posed figure groups. Presumed lost for more than a century,
it is a "missing link" to one of the rare moments in history when the
pinnacles of the divergent worlds of fine art and popular commercial art
were embodied in a single work.
Brewster, Jr: Itinerant Portrait Painter
This exhibition showcased the largest known collection of paintings by
John Brewster, Jr. (1766 â€“ 1854). Born without the ability to speak or
hear, Brewster earned a living as a traveling painter. Brewsterâ€™s
straightforward, precise, and profoundly expressive style makes him one
of the masters of American primitive painting.