Maine photographer focus of ‘Maine’s Mid-Century Moment: Kosti Ruohomaa’s Beloved Maine’


View from Ruohomaa’s Farm on Dodge Mt. Rockland, Maine, photo by Kosti Ruohomaa, part of the Penobscot Marine Museum photo archives. Courtesy photo from Penobscot Marine Museum

The University of Maine at Augusta in partnership with the Penobscot Marine Museum, will present Kosti Ruohomaa’s Beloved Maine with speakers Deanna Bonner-Ganter, author of “Kosti Ruohomaa: The Photographer Poet,” and Kevin Johnson, Penobscot Marine Museum Photo Archivist, who will delve into the life and work of the iconic Maine photographer at 6 p.m. on Thursday, May 20, via Zoom. This event is open to the public, however an RSVP is required. Visit penobscotmarinemuseum.org/events-list/.

Ruohomaa’s lens captured the villagers taking a “gander” in the general store, the tough farmers, woodsmen, river drivers, and fishermen who worked with their hands close to land and sea. Kosti Ruohomaa’s Beloved Maine selects images of Ruohomaa’s poetic sensitivity not only of the people and rugged geography, but his visions of Maine’s winter, winter nights, and the rugged coastal landscape.

Ruohomaa was a storyteller with his camera. He captured the spirit and culture of Maine through its people and landscape like few other photographers have ever done. Ruohomaa’s photographs were featured in various publications including Life Magazine, Look, National Geographic, Ladies Home Journal, and Down East. In 2018, a large collection of Ruohomaa’s work was given to Penobscot Marine Museum by his agency, Black Star of New York. This collection is a remarkable resource. While his published work is fairly well known, it represents less than 10% of the photographs he made; the rest of his photographs had never been seen by the general public.

This event is part of University of Maine at Augusta’s series exploring the artists, writers, and innovators who shaped and chronicled Maine’s mid-century cultural evolution.


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