Founded in 1836, the Maine State Museum is America’s oldest state museum. It is known as “Maine’s Smithsonian” because of the breadth and diversity of its collections—nearly a million objects representing almost everything about Maine and its cultural, environmental, and natural history.
Bernard Fishman, the museum’s director, has recently edited and published a book, A Story of Maine in 112 Objects, which tells the whole story of Maine through a choice selection of 112 objects in the museum’s collections. From a 400-million-year-old fossil, through the only authentic Viking object found in the United States, to a genuine 200-year-old sawmill moved to the museum and rebuilt piece by piece inside it, Fishman will share the fascinating stories of how you create a museum and its contents, how these special objects got to the museum, and what they and the characters that made or used them have added to the richness of Maine.
Bernard Fishman grew up in New York City and trained as an Egyptologist at the University of Pennsylvania. He worked in Egypt for three years, for the University of Chicago. His family owned several five and ten cent stores in Maine under the name of the M.H. Fishman Company, and he spent eleven years at summer camps in Maine during his early years. He directed history museums in Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Rhode Island before coming to the Maine State Museum in 2012.