MAINE MUSEUM OF PHOTOGRAPHIC ARTS
USM GLICKMAN FAMILY LIBRARY
314 FOREST AVENUE
THROUGH JANUARY 27
by Taryn Plumb
At first, it appears to be a touching image of mourning: A man lies on his belly in a pastoral cemetery, leaning in so close to a gravestone that his head nearly grazes it.
But take a closer look and you see that, well — he’s taking a closer look.
Not at the headstone engraved with the surname “HUNT” but, rather, at a small patch of white flowers that have sprung up out of the ground at its base. He is a botanist at work; the grave is purely incidental.
Captured by photographer S.B. Walker, the black-and-white image is part of a series taken in and around Walden Pond in Concord, Mass.
It is among a variety of works in an exhibit honoring the 200th anniversary of the birth of the celebrated transcendentalist Henry David Thoreau, “We might Climb a Tree, at Least.” The show is on display through January 27 at the Maine Museum of Photographic Arts (MMPA) in Portland.
“We wanted to cover Thoreau and celebrate the bicentennial of his birth, but we wanted to do it in an updated way,” said Denise Froehlich, director of the nonprofit art association formed in 2010. “Who are the people today who are interested in transcendentalism?”