Monday, March 8, 2010

Now Taking Reservations for Silhouette Portraits

The Curran Homestead Living History Farm and Museum is now taking reservations for appointments for sittings for handmade silhouette portraits by Ruth Monsell of Damariscotta. Sittings will take place 9a.m.-4p.m. Saturday, March 27, at 372 Fields Pond Rd., Orrington. Monsell is the only silhouette artist working in Maine; she began her career cutting silhouettes when she noticed a complete absence of this folk art tradition at artist shows she frequented.

This art form was in the US and Europe from the late 18th to the mid-19th century, and there were several known itinerant artists known to have worked in Maine, including Galen Jerome Brewer, who produced portraits between 1844-1856 and whose grandfather founded the city that bears his name. Brewer’s work is on display at the State Museum in Augusta.

Dr. Robert Schmick, museum director of The Curran Homestead, said, the silhouette portraits done by Ms. Monsell involve a set of very sharp scissors which she uses to snip out a profile of her subject from black paper which is then mounted on white card. What seems most amazing to watch is that through her skill she achieves a likeness in a matter of minutes.”

The cost is $29 per portrait, $10 for copies, for an additional fee of $15 and more, frame choices and framing are available on-site.To schedule silhouette sittings or obtain information, call Robert Schmick at 843-5550 or email: Part of the proceeds from the event will benefit the Curran Homestead’s restoration and living history mission.

March 27, 10AM-2PM, has also been declared the Curran Homestead’s annual Maple Festival and Irish Celebration Day. Visitors can expect an Easter egg hunt, live Irish music, a maple sap to syrup-making demonstration and a tasting of foods made with maple syrup along with Irish stew.

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