May 2015 – December 2015
Memory in Black and White featured the beautiful landscapes and often spur-of-the-moment portraits taken by photographer Albion Moody in Kennebunk, Maine, at the turn of the century.
A veteran of the Civil War, Moody came to Kennebunk in 1880 to work in the local shoe factory, the Davis Shoe Shop. He soon opened a humble little photography studio near the Mousam River with his daughter Lillie.
From the Moody portrait studio come intimate views of our friends and neighbors from a not so distant past; at once both visually inventive and playful. In addition to their creative portfolio, Moody and his daughter Lillie also left behind an enormous body of work chronicling everyday life in the Kennebunks from residential scenes to the everyday business of a small Maine town.
The Moody’s prolific body of work produced thousands of images on glass plate negatives, now held by both the Brick Store Museum and the Kennebunk Free Library. All the photographs in the exhibit, dating from 1880-1904, had been reproduced from these original glass plate negatives. Here is a chance to see several of these images online in our web gallery exhibit.
If you are interested in purchasing a print of any of these photographs, please contact the staff here.
Lillie and Fred Moody, c. 1902. 1978.M.F.73
Albion’s daughter, Lillie, and son, Fred, pose on a bicycle-built-for-two. Lillie was five years older than Fred; in this photo they were about 30 and 25, respectively. Lillie followed her father into the photography business, working with him for many years, and eventually taking over the business when he fell ill.
Kennebunk High School Baseball Team. 78.M.M.9
Moody often took portraits of local school teams and events. Here, he has captured the image of the students on Kennebunk’s baseball team, c. 1900.
This is the interior of George P. Lowell’s store. Lowell was a confectioner and baker; if you look closely, you can see all of the different treats available to shoppers under the glass.
Seated Woman, ca. 1905. 88.79.1
This unidentified woman sits for her portrait at Moody’s studio.
Little Girl. 78.M.C.82
This unidentified little girl poses for a full-length portrait in Moody’s studio with her baby doll.
Man with Victrola. 85.L.43
This unknown man sits on his front law to play the Victrola at an unidentified home on Kennebunk’s Fletcher Street.
Trolley Lines. 89.I.25.
These laborers were photographed by Moody in 1899 as they lay crushed rock between the new trolley lines installed on Main Street.
Store Interior. 88.79.1, No. 8
This store, photographed in 1899, was home to a druggist and his dog. As you can see, the dog kept moving when the photo was taken, so appears blurry in the resulting image. This man was also photographed in his parlor, an image also featured in this gallery. He is yet to be identified.
Senior Class of 1905. 84.L.30
As he did with local sports teams, Moody often took class photos of graduating seniors. This Kennebunk High School class of 1905 graduated 21 students.
The Seaward Family. 88.79.1, NO. 16
This image of Mr. Seaward and his baby sitting on the steps of their home in Kennebunk is one of a series that Moody took of the child and the farm on which the family lived, c. 1900.
Ross Block. 88.79.1, No. 140
Ross Block still stands on Kennebunk’s Main Street. A third story was added in the mid-Twentieth Century. Today, businesses remain on the first floor with living spaces above.
Posed Figures. 88.79.1, No. 1
Men known only as “Ward” and “J. Good” pose for a photograph in Moody’s studio. The background behind them is painted canvas. These men can be spotted in another photograph in this collection.
High School Play. 1975.M.M.21
The cast of Kennebunk High School’s “Down in Maine”, staged by the Class of 1905.
Parlor Scene. 88.79.1., No. 105
This unidentified couple sit in their parlor as Moody takes their indoor portraits. The home is decorated in Victorian style, with multiple paintings hanging over wallpaper, lace decorations, vases, lamps, and dark wooden furniture.
Ocean Avenue, ca. 1899. 88.79.1, No. 113
An early image of Kennebunkport’s Ocean Avenue. The Nonantum stands at the center of the photo. There is some suspicion that this photograph may have been developed backwards, as landmarks appear to be out of order.
Albion Moody, ca. 1880. 1978.M.T.9
Albion Moody (1836-1911) moved to Kennebunk
in 1880 at age 44, and became one of the most prolific town photographers in our history. This is his self-portrait.
Men in Kennebunkport. 88.79.1
Do you recognize these men? They are also pictured elsewhere in this collection. Moody used people he knew in many of his shots. These men pose in front of buildings on Ocean Avenue, many of which are still in existence.
The Wednesday Club of Kennebunk, c. 1900. 1972.100
The women of the First Parish Unitarian Church’s “Wednesday Club” first joined together in 1829. The club met once a week to sew clothing and other items for less fortunate children in the community. Club members in 1900 (l-r): Agnes Titcomb Cole; Susan Maling Bourne; Lizzie Tucker; Maria Stone Titcomb; Helen Lord Brigham; Lucy Thompson; Fannie Hasting Goodnow; Nellie Parsons; Kate M. Lord; Elizabeth Little Frost
Laborers in a local factory take time out of their workday to pose for Moody in front of a boiler.
This unidentified man, wearing working clothes, poses for his portrait in short sleeves.
Hurdy Gurdy Girls. 88.79.1, No. 8
The Hurdy-Gurdy girls pose in Kennebunkport, in front of the Perkins & Seavey Store on Ocean Avenue. The Hurdy-Gurdy can be spotted behind them, being pulled by a horse. The machine played music when hand-cranked.
House and Family. 1978.M.P.5
Moody often traveled through town with his camera, stopped at a house, and asked the family living inside to come out and stand in front of their home for a photograph. This house, sitting on what is now Route One, became Stephano’s Pizza; it is now home to Squaretoes Restaurant.
The Great Fire. 64.8.255
The Fire of 1903 destroyed the Davis Shoe Shop, a wooden factory building (on the site where the brick Lafayette Center sits today) that was Moody’s former employer. This image was snapped by Moody the morning after the fire. Townspeople came out to see the destruction, and firefighters still worked to put out the smoldering fire.
Fireman c. 1898. 1978.M.J.392
This fireman posed for Moody in his studio, and was a member of the Safeguard Engine Company No.2 from Kennebunk.
On the Farm. 88.79.1, No. 134
This is the only photo that shows Albion Moody’s traveling photography. This image, suspected to be in Dexter, Maine, shows a little girl sitting next to an advertisement for Meigs & Co. Clothiers painted on the side of a barn.
Family Portrait. 78.M.F.80
The young Bragdon family of Kennebunk sat with their infant daughter in Moody’s studio for a portrait.
An Elephant! 88.79.1, No. 139
Kennebunk was no stranger to circuses in the early twentieth century. By 1915, it had created its own Society Circus in which over 200 performers participated. Moody snapped this photograph of an elephant walking down Main Street as Kennebunkers watch from the sidewalks. In the foreground, two children moved quickly past the camera so that they appear as blurred figures.
Dual Portrait, 78.M.H.80
Two unidentified men pose in Moody’s studio with cigars. Although they are in dress clothes and bowler hats, they are wearing tools and materials for rigging ships, as well as leg braces.
The Dog. 78.M.N.22
Moody took several pet portraits; sometimes an owner would sit with their dog or cat, and sometimes he would take solo portraits, like this one. Here, he is being playful with the portrait; the dog is sitting on a chair smoking a pipe!
Dock Square. 88.79.1, No. 21
A man identified as Josh Smith stands in the center of Dock Square in Kennebunkport, c. 1898.
Day Family Portrait, 78.M.F.98
William Day (seated at right) and his family lived in Barnard’s Tavern on Route One in the early twentieth century.
This exhibit was part of the Maine Photo Project, which was a statewide photography collaboration among museums, galleries, historical societies and other nonprofit cultural organizations. For more information on the Maine Photo Project, see the website here.