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Weir Study | Lisa Tyson Ennis
A contemporary silver gelatin toned photographic print, “Fishing Weir, Study III," by photographer, Lisa Tyson Ennis. Hundreds of such herring weirs were once commonplace in the coves and bays of the Passamaquoddy region (and further west along the coast of Maine and further east along the coast of New Brunswick) when the sardine industry was at its height. The herring weir in this photograph stood on Deer Island, New Brunswick. While weirs had a very practical basis for their existence, to capture small herring that could be then used in the sardine canning industry, the weirs were also majestic almost other worldly structures not readily forgotten when first seen. They have a deep history in the region as simpler weir forms were used by the Passamaquoddies before the rise of the sardine industry began in the 1870s. Early herring weirs were made using brush before they converted over to twine. Now it is a rarity to see a herring weir in the region, let alone to see one that is still used for its original purpose. Lisa Tyson Ennis documented many of these weirs in their last years of use both in Maine and New Brunswick. She used a large format camera to capture the detail of the weir structures. Originally from Pennsylvania, Ennis took the photograph while she was living in Lubec, Maine. Ennis has also begun taking tintype photographs of weirs. This particular print was a gift to the Tides Institute by a supporter who long summered in Machiasport, Maine. Artist: Lisa Tyson Ennis Medium: Silver Gelatin Toned Print Classification: Photographs Old Accession Number: 1498