A photograph by Emma Sewall of a remote bay north of Phippsburg Center in the late 19th century. The work of Sewall and two other women photographers, Josephine Ginn Banks and Abbie F. Minott, will be exhibited at the Maine Maritime Museum in Bath beginning Dec. 9. Courtesy of Maine Maritime Museum

A new exhibit opening this week at the Maine Maritime Museum in Bath, titled “Women Behind the Lens,” showcases the work of three Maine photographers who captured life in coastal Maine in the late 19th and early 20th century.

The museum curated from its collection of more than 100,000 photographs a selection by Emma Sewall (1836-1919), Josephine Ginn Banks (1863-1958) and Abbie F. Minott (1874-1944).

All three were descendants of shipbuilding and seafaring families in the Midcoast, and their photographs portray both the stunning natural landscapes and industries of those communities.

Catherine Cyr, the museum’s exhibition coordinator, said in a press release that each woman started out as a hobby photographer, but all became authoritative documentarians of Maine life. Historically, female artists often have been overlooked in terms of their importance and influence, something many institutions have been trying to correct more recently.

“The exhibition will finally pay tribute to Sewall, Banks and Minott and their photography, spotlighting their work as historical record and art,” Cyr said.

The Maine Maritime Museum, celebrating its 60th year, overlooks the Kennebec River in Bath and is dedicated to promoting an appreciation of the state’s maritime heritage and culture.

Recently, the museum eliminated admission fees for visitors under the age of 18 and also joined the “Museums for All” initiative, which provides free admission to visitors who have and electronic benefit transfer card with public assistance benefits.

The “Women Behind the Lens” exhibit opens Friday and runs through the end of 2023. More information is available at mainemaritimemuseum.org.

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.