Vienna Historical Society
Preserving the History of Vienna and Mount Vernon, Maine

Jonathan Poor - Vienna Muralist

Jane Radcliffe
August 1, 2008
Jonathan D. Poor
Vienna Muralist
With
Jane Radcliffe
                             

a presentation of
Mill Stream Grange
and
Vienna Historical Society

August 1, 2008

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                    Jane Radcliffe at the Grams House

Jane Radcliffe of Museum Research Associates, located in Hallowell, provides collections management services to individuals, museums and historical organizations throughout the United States and abroad, as well as serving in numerous capacities at the Maine State Museum and the Strawberry Banke Museum.  Jane’s educational background includes a B.A. in the History of Art from Connecticut College, and an M.A. in American History and Historical Museum Work from the University of Connecticut.  Ms. Radcliffe is well versed on the works of Jonathan Poor and Rufus Porter, having studied the Porter/Poor murals for over 20 years.

On August 1, the Vienna Historical Society, in conjunction with the Mill Stream Grange, will present a three-part program regarding the works of Jonathan Poor (1807-1845), itinerant Maine mural painter of the early 1800s.  Poor was the nephew of famous muralist Rufus Porter, and arguably became the most proficient artist of the Porter school of muralists.  Poor married a cousin, Caroline Porter of Vienna, and resided in that town for a number of years.

The program begins with an open house viewing of the only known Jonathan Poor mural still in its original location, at the Flying Pond Farm in Vienna, the home of Dr. Harold and Laura Grams.  The murals, covering all four walls in an upstairs bedroom, are signed and dated—a rarity for the work of the itinerant artist.  The Grams will host the event at their home, located at 184 Town House Road/Route 41 just north of Vienna Village, from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. on Friday, August 1st.

Following the open house, the Mill Stream Grange will have a pot-luck supper at 6:30 p.m. at the Grange Hall on Route 41 in Vienna Village.  Everyone is welcome and should bring a dish to share. 

At 7:30 p.m., the Grange program will be given by Jane Radcliffe of Museum Research Associates, located in Hallowell.  This will be the second in a Summer Lecture Series sponsored by the Vienna Historical Society.  Ms. Radcliffe provides collections management services to individuals, museums and historical organizations throughout the United States and abroad, as well as serving in numerous capacities at the Maine State Museum and the Strawberry Banke Museum.  Ms. Radcliffe is well versed on the works of Jonathan Poor and Rufus Porter, having studied the Porter/Poor murals for over 20 years, and includes many images of their works in her presentation.  She will compare and contrast the decorative elements on the Flying Pond Farm walls with other identified designs that characterize the work of Rufus Porter (1792-1884) and his nephew Jonathan Poor as they appear in other Maine homes.  Ms. Radcliffe will present and support her theory that many of the Maine murals attributed to Rufus Porter were actually the work of his nephew Jonathan Poor.

Anyone with an interest in the works of Jonathan Poor, Rufus Porter or in Maine Folk Art is welcome to attend any or all of these free events.

These murals were painted by Jonathan Poor in 1832, and the house was owned at the time by Jacob Johnson.  The Johnson family had owned the property since 1802, and continued to own it until 1844.  Since the Johnsons, there have been twelve deeded owners of the property, which is now the home of Flying Pond Farm and is owned by Dr. Harold and Laura Grams.  

                       

                                            

  


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