Support Us | Contact Us | News | Calendar | Museum Shop | Directions


Click on a heading to view the article.

Museum seeks photos, instruments from 1915-1949
for upcoming exhibit - The Roaring 20s to Swing

LEWISTON -   Museum L-A continues its three-year “Power of Music” series with “The Roaring 20s to Swing,” opening on Saturday, June 15. This exhibit will cover one of the most fascinating historical times in America, when Jazz emerged as the first national, musical movement and spread throughout the country.  The rise of Jazz was bolstered by the concurrent evolution of music, technology and dance, while Prohibition, the Great Depression, World Wars I and II, and the 1918 Influenza left significant imprints on American culture and its music. 

Plans are coming together for the exhibit, which will present national and local aspects of the time and its music. Images, instruments and artifacts are being sought to incorporate into the exhibit, which will evolve throughout its run until April of 2014. Among the instruments still needed for display are a cornet, trumpet, and violin – all used between 1916 and 1949. Photographs on the Exhibit Committee’s “wish list” include:  The DeWitt Hotel, The Spinet Club, Le Montagnard Snowshoe Club Drum and Bugle Corps, The Clef, The Philharmonic Club, Blanche Belleau, The Foyer of Music, Lewiston-Auburn Symphony Orchestra, Mellie Dunham, Lewiston-Auburn Oratorio Society, The Katahdin Mountaineers, Florence Rich, The Blue Hill Troupe, Parker Glee Club, Auburn Theatre.  “These are specific photos we have in mind, but please bring in your music-related photos from that time for us to take a look at, said Rachel Desgrosseilliers, Museum L-A’s Executive Director. “We’ve had a wonderful response when we’ve asked people to go through their attics, basements and scrapbooks.  Here is another opportunity for the community to help create an exhibit for its Museum.” 

“The Roaring 20s to Swing” is one of Museum L-A’s most ambitious exhibits to date.  It will appeal to a wide range of people and attract one of the Museum’s largest audiences.  The museum space itself will be transformed into a 1920s Speakeasy, transporting the viewer into an era when alcohol was illegal and the community’s rebellious life force was captured by its distinctive, American music.  During the day, the museum will function normally, treating viewers to an educational experience through displays and artifacts of the era.  But once a month, the museum will change into a ‘legitimate’ Speakeasy, complete with live music, authentic décor, a bouncer, a secret password, and alcohol served in coffee mugs.  There may even be a “police raid” when you least expect it!  The Speakeasy will be transformed as the exhibit progresses, shifting from a discrete, secret hiding place to an atmosphere filled with indulgence and opulence, capturing the spirit of the era.

Meeting regularly with Museum staff to plan The Power of Music exhibit series are Kevin Callahan (committee chair), Ed Boucher, Jim Brown, Dale Chapman, Mark Silber, Ralph Tuttle and Ted Walworth. For more information contact Museum L-A at 207-333-3881 or