As part of Maine’s Bicentennial in 2020, the Tides Institute & Museum of Art mounted during the summer of last year an exhibition of works from its collections ranging in date from 1820 to the present. In addition, the Tides Institute will publish a Bicentennial book featuring 100 works from its collections and the stories behind the works and how they came into the Tides Institute’s collection. Each week, one of the selected works will be featured in our weekly online posting, CulturePass, to this region’s cultural activities and on our website here.
This week’s piece is a photograph by photographer, George Daniell, of the seining of a herring weir at Grand Manan island, New Brunswick in 1938. It is part of a large series of black and white photographs that Daniell took of the herring fisheries that year when he made an extended visit to Grand Manan. The work was published in several national magazines in the United States as well as Canada. They provide a remarkable record of the herring fisheries at this time. They are as riveting today as when they were taken. Most of Daniell’s Grand Manan photographs were acquired by the Tides Institute several years ago through a purchase/gift arrangement with the Aucocisco Gallery of Portland, Maine that was, at the time, representing the photographer’s estate. George Daniell was born in Yonkers, New York in 1911. He is best known for his black and white portraits of actors, artists and writers. Also a painter, Daniell studied drawing at Yale University and New York’s American People’s School and Art Students League as well as at the Grand Central Art School in New York City in 1927. He began taking photographs as a teenager in his native Yonkers and, after graduating from college, became a freelance photographer in New York City and Europe. His work appeared over the years in Time and Life magazine. In 1937, he painted and photographed on his first trip to Monhegan Island on the Maine coast, a year before going to Grand Manan. He moved to mid-coast Maine in the 1960s where he continued to photograph and paint. He died in 2002.