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Bob Keyes

Bob Keyes has written about the arts in Maine since 2002. He’s never been much an artist himself, other than singing in junior high school chorus and acting in a few musicals. But he’s attended museums, theaters, clubs and concert halls all his life, and cites Bob Dylan as most influential artist of any kind since Picasso. He lives in Berwick.

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Posted: April 4, 2017

‘Through Her Lens’ highlights turn-of-the-century women photographers of midcoast Maine

Written by: Bob Keyes
Photo by Harriet Hichborn Courtesy of Portland Public Library

Photo by Harriet Hichborn
Courtesy of Portland Public Library

A new exhibition at the Portland Public Library focuses on five female photographers who worked between Boothbay and Blue Hill in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. “Through Her Lens: Women Photographers of Midcoast Maine, 1885-1925” opens with a First Friday Art Walk reception from 5 to 8 p.m. and is on view through April 29 in the Lewis Gallery.

The Penobscot Marine Museum of Searsport collaborated with the library on the exhibition. Many photographs in the show are from the museum’s permanent collection.

Women helped lead the advancement of photography in its early days, in Europe and in the United States. These photographs represent the work of five Maine women who didn’t know each other but were linked by geography and time: Evie Barbour, Joanna Colcord, Ida Crie, Harriet Hichborn and Ruth Montgomery.

Their lives were varied. Some sailed the world, while others stayed close to home. Some were amateurs; others earned an income from their photos. This exhibit explores how these women navigated, and documented, social change in their public and domestic lives on the coast of Maine, and it comes during a time when the role of female photographers is getting attention nationally.

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