The Dexter Historical Society is embarking on an ambitious undertaking to gain regional and possibly national recognition for local photographer Albert L. Call. (1866-1965). Call was a local professional photographer in Dexter from February 8, 1886 to the middle of the twentieth century.
After establishing his business in Dexter in 1886, Bert expanded his portraiture skills to include photographing scenic landscapes in central and northern Maine. We have a, "graphic documentation," says Richard Judd, University of Maine Professor of History, of the region where Bert traveled in Thoreau's footsteps. "These prints include sweeping views of spectacular mountain and lake scenes all recorded by Bert's keen, observing eye. His campfire scenes, using the light from the fire, are quite unusual considering the equipment available at that time."
The Call photo collection covers the Central and Northern Maine area in a time span from 1886 to the 1940s. A sampling of his work was first shown at the University of Maine's Fogler Library in 1990. An expanded version was exhibited in New York in 1991, sponsored by the University of Maine Alumni Association. The exhibit was again shown in 2003 at the Bangor Public Library, and in 2005 in Dexter, Greenville, Dover-Foxcroft, Guilford, Milo, and Bangor.
A new Call photo show was recently developed and exhibited in Concord, MA for the 2007 Annual Thoreau Gathering, sponsored by the Thoreau Society. This exhibit consists of reprints of Bert's photos of the Maine Woods at the approximate locations mentioned by Henry David Thoreau in his three essays in, " The Maine Woods."
Accompanying each photo is a quote from Thoreau matching his words with the image Bert Call recorded. "The Maine Woods," edited by Joseph J. Moldenhaur and published by Princeton University Press, (1972) has been used for the Thoreau quotations, the location identified by page number.
The exhibit displays Thoreau's three trips to the North Woods of 1846, 1853, and 1857.
It will be open to the public at the Abbott Museum on Church St. in Dexter starting August 25th and running through September. Plans are to have this exhibit travel all over Maine in the next few years. A catalog has been printed for sale to the public displaying 50 Call prints. Layout and design was by Jeffrey White, student in Dexter's Tri-County Technical Center Graphics Design course.
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