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The Passionate Photographer: Kosti Ruohomaa's Maine in Magazine Photojournalism exhibition opens at Maine State Museum on July 18

June 29, 2015
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Free Museum admission on Opening Day, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

AUGUSTA - The Maine State Museum's newest exhibition, featuring the photography of Kosti Ruohomaa, will open in a new museum gallery space on Saturday, July 18. A special members' preview reception will be held on July 16, 5:30 p.m 7:30 p.m.

Kosti Ruohomaa (1913-1961), a Finnish-American photographer from Rockland, Maine, published widely in major pictorial and news magazines of the 1940s and 1950s, such as Life and Look, and newspapers, such as The New York Times and The Boston Globe. His assignments took him all over the country, as well as throughout Canada and overseas. But he was known especially for his images of Maine and New England, particularly photographic essays that captured the vast land and seascape, drama of the seasons, richness of rural life, and integrity of Maine people.

'Kosti Ruohomaa brought a depth and dramatic artistry to his work that distinguished it from news documentary photography of the day,' comments the exhibition curator, Deanna Bonner-Ganter of the Maine State Museum. 'In the exhibit, visitors will see Ruohomaa's many insightful photographs of rural people, but his work to capture settings bathed in fog, the light of night and dawn, and the myriad moods of winter truly set him apart and reveal his originality.'

The exhibition at the museum includes about 60 images, as well as vintage magazines in which Ruohomaa's photographs were published, and personal scrapbooks that Ruohomaa kept to document his career. The Passionate Photographer is the first comprehensive exhibition of Ruohomaa's work and is based on Bonner-Ganter's decades-long research. A biography about Ruohomaa by Bonner-Ganter and published by Down East, is scheduled to be released in September.

The Passionate Photographer: Kosti Ruohomaa's Maine and Magazine Photojournalism will be on view until July 2016 and is also part of the Maine Photo Project, a year-long celebration of photography that features a wide variety of programs and exhibits at 32 cultural organizations across Maine (

The Maine State Museum is located at 230 State Street in Augusta and is open Tuesday Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The museum is closed on Sunday, Monday, and all state holidays. For more information, call (207) 287-2301 or check the museum's website at

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