SAH News

Earle G. Shettleworth Jr. Speaks at Camden Rockport Historical Society

by Staff | Apr 03, 2017
The Camden-Rockport Historical Society welcomes Maine State Historian Earle G. Shettleworth, Jr. to speak on the lives and works of three Maine women photographers: Thurza Foss, Minnie Libby, and Josephine Townsend. The talk will take place at 2:00 pm on Sunday, April 9. The inspiring stories of three women who become successful photographers at a time when most photographers were men.

Mr. Shettleworth, Jr., says of his talk, "Between 1900 and 1940 many Maine photographers made real photo post cards of local scenes and events. While most of these cards provided straightforward pictures of their subject matter, occasionally such images rose to the level of engaging artistry. Such is the case with the post cards of Thurza Foss of Harmony, Minnie Libby of Norway, and Josephine Davis Townsend of Monhegan Island. Largely forgotten today, these three enterprising  women created striking bodies of work which provide rich insights into how Maine people lived and worked in inland towns and coastal villages a century ago."

Earle Grey Shettleworth, Jr. was born in Portland, Maine on August 17, 1948, the son of Earle G. Shettleworth, Sr. and Esther Knudsen Shettleworth. He was educated in Portland public schools, graduating from Deering High School in 1966. He received a B.A. in Art History from Colby College in 1970, an M.A. in Architectural History from Boston University in 1979, and an L.H.D. from Bowdoin College in 2008.

At the age of thirteen, Shettleworth became interested in historic preservation through the destruction of Portland’s Union Station in 1961. A year later he joined the Sills Committee which founded Greater Portland Landmarks in 1964. In 1971 he was appointed by Governor Curtis to serve on the first board of the Maine Historic Preservation Commission, for which he became architectural historian in 1973 and director in 1976. He is the longest actively serving State Historic Preservation Officer in the nation.

Shettleworth’s elected and appointed positions include president of the Maine Historical Society (1977-79), president of the New England Chapter, Society of Architectural Historians (1995-98), chair of the State House and Capitol Park Commission (1988- ), chair of the Capitol Planning Commission (1998- ), and chair of the Blaine House Commission (2004- ). He served on the Maine Lighthouse Selection Committee in 1997-98 and the State Facilities Master Plan Commission in 1999.

Earle Shettleworth has lectured and written extensively on Maine history and architecture. The Maine Historical Society’s auditorium in Portland was named for him in 1999. In 2004 Governor John E. Baldacci appointed him as State Historian, and he was reappointed to a second term by Governor Baldacci in 2008.

Mr. Shettleworth has been an SAH members since 1966, and a LIFE member since 1997. 

SAH thanks The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation
for its operating support.
Society of Architectural Historians
1365 N. Astor Street
Chicago, Illinois 60610