In partnership with the Maine Memory Network Maine Memory Network

Early Maine Photography

Art

(Page 2 of 2) Print Version 
Joseph Leland of Saco, ca. 1850
Joseph Leland of Saco, ca. 1850Item Contributed by
Maine Historical Society

Nineteenth century Portland supported an active artistic community. Of the painters, sculptors, and carvers who worked in the city, George Henry Bailey pursued the dual professions of artist and veterinarian. The Society’s collection includes an ambrotype of a young Bailey and his wife Irene along with two of his paintings, the Portland Light Infantry Encampment and Tom "Piggy" Houston

Sculptor Benjamin Paul Akers, ca. 1860
Sculptor Benjamin Paul Akers, ca. 1860Item Contributed by
Maine Historical Society

Photographers sought to create the effect of portraiture by using painted backgrounds in their studios. A tintype shows a formally posed young woman set against a classical railing and trees as if in the outdoors. The outdoor effect is especially evident in a tintype of a man seated on a bench on a faux beach with a maritime scene behind him, complete with a sailing vessel and a lighthouse. This setting has the look of the interior of a late nineteenth century tintype studio in a coastal resort. Curiously, the sitter holds two large dollar bills and has another pinned to his coat. In contrast to these landscape backgrounds is the indoor setting of a tintype of two women who are seated between a trompe l’oeil doorway and window. The window drapery is rendered in a manner reminiscent of those found in primitive portraits.