Molly Dewson and Secretary of Labor Frances Perkins,1933

Last season’s exhibit expanded for 2018!

Polly Porter-Dewson at the wheel.Our seasonal exhibit again focuses on Mary W. (Molly) Dewson and Mary G. (Polly) Porter, their life together in New York and Castine, and the significant role Molly played in 1930s American politics. The storyline is based on 28 Porter-Dewson scrapbooks, using their own pictures and words to explore topics important to Molly and Polly.  New this year will be the  highlight on other Castine women devoted to politics, social reform, public service, women’s rights, and marriage equality.

Several themes in the exhibit reverberate in the daily news today.  What was termed a “Boston marriage” of two independent women in 1912 could now be a federally sanctioned same-sex marriage. The woman’s right to vote, which did not win support among Castine men in 1919, changed the lives of Castine women in 1920.  Molly’s ground-breaking research for wages and hours legislation begun in Massachusetts before 1920, gained momentum and passage across the country, but what do minimum wage workers earn in real dollars?  Molly’s favorite project to promote with her friends, Eleanor and Franklin Roosevelt, was the advancement for qualified women in government jobs—how has the status of women in federal jobs changed since Molly pushed for Frances Perkins to become the first female cabinet member in the position of Secretary of Labor?  Who else from Castine pursued careers in social reform and public service, as volunteers or professionals, over the past 100 years?

These questions and more bring our concept of “Castine’s devoted women” to a new level for first-time visitors or those stopping in for a second look.  Learn more about the 2017 exhibit HERE. The exhibit in the Abbott School building at 17 School Street, will be open from June 11 – October 8, 2018. Hours and more information can be found here .