Historic Photos Of Maine Agriculture On Display
Exhibit of Long-Ago Farm Life in Belfast
January 14, 2011 -- A new exhibit in Belfast will explore a bygone age of Maine's agriculture in photography dating from 75 to 100 years ago. "Maine Agriculture: Views From the Past" will be on display in the Maine Farmland Trust Gallery, 97 Main St., Belfast, from January 26 through March 21. An opening reception will be held Friday, January 28, 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. The exhibit and reception are free to the public.
Included in the show are images of potato and dairy farming, the poultry industry, corn husking, canning operations, farm fields, farm houses, farm animals and farm people. Renowned Maine historian William H. Bunting conducted research for the exhibit and wrote the captions. The black-and-white images, shot originally on glass-plate negatives, are part of the Eastern Illustrating & Publishing Company collection owned by Penobscot Marine Museum. The show is funded by a grant from the NLT Foundation.
"A century ago, agriculture was a highly visible component of the Maine landscape and a central element of its culture and economy," says historian Bunting. "Today it is nearly invisible in some parts of the state and its impact, while still significant, is recognized by few. From its earliest days right up to the present, Maine agriculture has been in a state of transition, and never more so than in the early 1900s, when these photos were taken. This exhibit reminds us of agriculture's central role in the making of Maine, of what has been lost, and of what can yet be preserved and also reinvented by looking ahead with an eye to the past, in a still-rural state like Maine."
Maine Farmland Trust is a statewide non-profit organization working to permanently preserve and protect Maine's agricultural lands, and to keep Maine's farms farming. Maine Farmland Trust created its gallery to celebrate art in agriculture, and to inspire and inform visitors regarding the vibrancy of farming in Maine. For more information visit www.mainefarmlandtrust.org.