Portland, Maine 04101 United States
What: Photojournalism & The 1936 Flood
When: Tuesday, August 8, 2023, through Summer 2024.
Where: Maine Historical Society, Showcase Gallery, 489 Congress Street, Portland
Tickets: Available at the door in the MHS Museum Store or online. Free for MHS members and children under five; $10 for general admission.
Maine Historical Society Exhibition Explores Massive Historic Northeast Flood Destruction Through Guy Gannett Media
Photojournalism & The 1936 Flood opens Tuesday, August 8, 2023, through Summer 2024 in the MHS Showcase Gallery.
A new Maine Historical Society exhibition examines the monumental destruction caused by a historic Northeast flood, seen through the eyes of reporters, photographers, and Guy Gannett, one of Maine’s most influential media giants. Photojournalism & The 1936 Flood features photographs from Guy Gannett’s coverage across his many newspapers, capturing the devastation from land, air, and water.
Overnight into Friday, March 13, 1936, heavy rains and unusually warm weather led to dangerous conditions throughout the Northeast. In Maine, melting snow and ice overwhelmed rivers, flooding towns along the way. The devastation hit western and central Maine hardest, causing an estimated $10,000,000 in damage (equal to about $218M today) at the height of the Great Depression.
Local newspapers featured the destruction through the relatively new “Picture Record” format. Photography was not a new medium, yet newspapers only began wide use of photographs after the 1920s. An innovator in the field, Maine’s Guy Gannett highlighted local stories, heavily illustrated with photographs. Photojournalism became a major focus for Gannett and defining characteristic for his suite of Maine newspapers. His passion for aviation added aerial photography to his reportage, capturing news from every angle.