Penobscot Marine Museum exhibits two shows at the UMaine Hutchinson Center

by | Jan 27, 2023

Belfast, Maine — Two Penobscot Marine Museum photography exhibits — “Up River: Selections From The Captain Bill Abbott Collection” and “20 Best” — are on display at the H. Allen and Sally Fernald Art Gallery at the University of Maine Hutchinson Center in Belfast through May 21. The show is free and open to the public, 8 a.m.–4:30 p.m., Monday–Friday.

“Up River: Selections From The Captain Bill Abbott Collection” features photographs from the collection of Captain Bill Abbott, an avid collector of photographs, who upon his passing in 2014, left the Penobscot Marine Museum his treasured collection, where it is being digitized and preserved. This exhibit highlights a selection of images from his archive.

This exhibit was generously funded by lead donor Wayne Hamilton, as well as Mr. and Mrs. E. Vance Bunker, Captain Almer and Linda Dinsmore, Captain David Gelinas, Penobscot Bay & River Pilots Association, Penobscot Bay Tractor Tug Company, Captain Prentice Strong, and Captain Duke Tomlin.

“20 Best” features a curated selection of 20 photographs from towns, tiny communities and summer colonies here in Maine. What distinguishes an image? Is it the drama of the moment, the artistic qualities of its composition, the expression on a face, the time in history it represents, or the way light played with the subject? Knowing the story behind an image can deepen one’s appreciation of it; even without the story, however, knowing how to look at a photograph can do the same. What relationship did a photographer create among shapes, textures, shadow and light? What is the emotional impact of these relationships? Does the photographer’s choice of subjects suggest something more than their face value? A strong image is always marked by a combination of the photographer’s technical mastery and creative vision.

The Penobscot Marine Museum chose the “20 Best” photographs from their archive of more than 140,000 photographic images.

For information or to request a reasonable accommodation, contact Laura Matthews, [email protected]. More information about the Hutchinson Center’s Fernald Art Gallery is online.

Featured Images

Crews of Ross tugboats BISMARCK and WALTER ROSS on Lobster Claw Wharf at Fort Point, Stockton Springs. Captain William Abbott Collection.

Out To The Monument – On Ice, Belfast, March 1905. Charles Coombs Collection.

Fishing Vessel SKIPPER, January 2013. Antonia Small Collection.

About the Penobscot Marine Museum

The Penobscot Marine Museum has one of the largest archives of historical photographs in Maine, with more than 140,000 negatives, prints, slides, postcards and daguerreotypes available for research, reproduction and licensing. Revealing many aspects of life from the late nineteenth to the mid-twentieth century, the collections range from the vast archives of the Eastern Illustrating & Publishing Company and the works of individual professional photographers to intimate family albums. Each collection has a connection with the Penobscot Bay region, either through the photographer, the publisher or the subject matter. Along with images of Searsport and elsewhere in Maine and New England are photographs of distant lands; boats, ships and waterfronts; cities, towns and countryside; fashion, furnishings, industry, architecture and people.

About the Hutchinson Center:

The Hutchinson Center is an outreach center for the University of Maine in Orono that serves as an educational and cultural center for the midcoast area. It is named for University of Maine President Emeritus Frederick E. Hutchinson. The mission of the Hutchinson Center is to broaden access to University of Maine academic and non-degree programs and services, lifelong learning opportunities, and professional and career development experiences using innovative approaches that increase synergy among University of Maine System entities, University of Maine departments and divisions, and that engage a wider Maine community. 

About the University of Maine:
The University of Maine, founded in Orono in 1865, is the state’s land grant, sea grant and space grant university, with a regional campus at the University of Maine at Machias. UMaine is located on Marsh Island in the homeland of the Penobscot Nation. UMaine Machias is located in the homeland of the Passamaquoddy Nation. As Maine’s flagship public university, UMaine has a statewide mission of teaching, research and economic development, and community service. UMaine is the state’s only public research university and among the most comprehensive higher education institutions in the Northeast. It attracts students from all 50 states and 81 countries. UMaine currently enrolls 11,989 undergraduate and graduate students, and UMaine Machias enrolls 747 undergraduates. Our students have opportunities to participate in groundbreaking research with world-class scholars. UMaine offers more than 100 degree programs through which students can earn master’s, doctoral or professional science master’s degrees, as well as graduate certificates. UMaine Machias offers 18 degree programs. The university promotes environmental stewardship, with substantial efforts campuswide to conserve energy, recycle and adhere to green building standards in new construction. For more information about UMaine and UMaine Machias, visit and