I had a wonderfully bittersweet time last weekend attending the opening of the new exhibit at Maine Maritime Museum--"Into the Lantern." Do make plans to see it. It's amazing--so well-done and so contextual. Most lens exhibits at museums and lighthouses offer only the lens and a few static reader boards. This one offers a chance to step on a replica of the deck of the lantern of the Cape Elizabeth Lighthouse. The second-order Fresnel lens flashes from inside the replicated lantern while a curved video screen offers four seasons of views from the actual lantern gallery of the real Cape Elizabeth Lighthouse. Everyone can enjoy the exhibit--from kids to grandparents, from the able-bodied to the handicapped.
I guess part of the reason I love it is that I helped create it. Last autumn I was contacted by Caroline Losneck and Christoph Gelfand of True Life Media. They were looking for images and information about lighthouses and lighthouse keepers for an exhibit they were designing for Maine Maritime Museum in Bath, Maine. They asked to interview me, and we met at the Custom House Museum in New London, CT, near my home, in early December. It was kind of them to come to me, since they live in Portland, Maine. We filmed for about four hours, and I felt good about all the info I gave them, plus tips for other lighthouse aficionados to contact.
|Both images of my interview are from Susan Tamulevich, director of the Custom House Museum.|
It's always fun to be interviewed. I wore a new scarf, sent to me by my daughter and her spouse as an early Christmas gift. It seemed to match my new eyeglasses! Behind me in the photo above is the lens from New London Ledge Lighthouse. Over my left should (the bad one that requires a cortisone shot too often!) is a model of Race Rock Lighthouse. In the top photo you can see a large model of New London Ledge Lighthouse and Caroline and Christoph doing the interview. Such nice people!
Imagine my excitement in late May when I received an invitation to the grand opening of the exhibit on June 16 and 17. Check out some images from the soft opening night on June 16th.
|My husband snapped this photo of me in front of the exhibit room. Behind me is the lantern and lens.|
|The amazing lens, rehabilitated by lampist Jim Dunlap, revolving and flashing. Wonderful context!|
|This is me listening to an audio clip of myself talking about women lightkeepers. True Life Media designed a clever room circa 1960s with an old dial-up telephone. A sign (below) gave numbers to dial for info on different topics.|
On Saturday, lighthouse groups came and had tables on the lawn on the north side of the museum. I think there were about a dozen, plus Jeremy D'Entremont with his books and Bob Trapani representing the American Lighthouse Foundation and the Coast Guard (he's a volunteer for the CG!). The Maine Lighthouse Museum was there too. I had a great time meeting so many lighthouse people and "talking lighthouse." Blessed be my husband, Jon, who took scads of pictures and endured "Lighthousepalooza." He loves lighthouses, but a long day of photos and gabbing can wear him out, especially when I don't feed him. Can you believe I forgot to eat lunch until mid-afternoon?
Below is a shot of me with Jon (left) and Bob Trapani. A gal couldn't be sandwiched between two nicer men!
It was such a fun two days. I visited a few other lighthouses on my way to and from Maine, including Portland Head, the Newburyport Range Lights, and Plum Island Lighthouse. Some staff were at Plum Island Light cleaning up from a wedding. When I told them my name, they screamed and gave me a tour up the lighthouse stairs to the lantern. They also booked me as a speaker for their September 20th meeting. I'm so glad to be going back in a few months to meet the rest of their group.
|Waving from the gallery of Plum Island Lighthouse with Rosalind of the Friends of Plum Island Lighthouse.|