On view now through the 28th is “Images of Change: Greater Portland’s Cityscape Since 1960” at the Lewis Gallery at the Portland Public Library. Hosted by Greater Portland Landmarks to celebrate their 50th anniversary, the exhibition features 72 photographs by 44 artists. Additionally, five historical photographs show important buildings from the 1960s and early 1970s.
The photographs illustrate Portland’s evolution – its changing architectural styles and cultural modes are beautifully represented. An old grocery store, a hardware store, the Portland Observatory, the Custom House, and various views of the waterfront are some of the locales on display. Scenes of bustling city life and of Portland’s beloved landmarks provide an honest, evocative portrait of this gem of a port city.
So much of Portland’s lovely architecture has remained – thanks in part to the efforts of groups like Greater Portland Landmarks – but, inevitably, much has changed. Viewing these photographs gives the past vibrancy. You can compare how things once were with how they are now, and easily imagine (or remember) what it was like to experience the city 50 years ago. I feel a strong connection to the city’s history, and its people.
But there are also many photographs on display that document today’s Portland. It’s great to see how artists interpret scenes that are so familiar to us. It just might you take a closer look next time you’re walking through the city.