A piece of history, itself, Kennebunk’s Brick Store Museum opened during the great depression and has since become one of the premiere history and art centers in Southern Maine.
Located in a block of 19th-century buildings at the heart of Kennebunk’s historic district, the Brick Store Museum was originally constructed in 1825 by William Lord as a dry-goods emporium. Known as Lord’s Store, the building was unique in its then extravagant use of locally kilned bricks, rather than the far cheaper and more typically used lumber.
It was Lord’s great-granddaughter, Edith Cleaves Barry, who founded the Brick Store Museum on the second floor of the Lord’s Store building in 1936. It wasn’t long before the museum expanded into three other buildings on the block, all dating from 1810 to 1860. The interiors of these four historic buildings were linked together and now house a regional history, art, and archives center as the Brick Store Museum.
The Brick Store Museum’s collection had its start in heirlooms from the extended Lord family but now houses upwards of 70,000 artifacts, works of art, and archival materials from a variety of sources. You can see quilts with secret pouches, a rare chest from 1685, a painting of a Kennebunkport ship’s captain found floating at sea, items salvaged from area shipwrecks, the largest collection in Maine of posters from World War I and II, and artworks by Thomas Badger, John Brewster Jr., Abbott Fuller Graves, Louis Norton, and Hannah Skeele. The Brick Store Museum archives center features maps, documents, photographs, genealogical materials and more for researchers.
Current exhibits include “Vitamin V: How Food Fought the Second World War,” “To Walk Through the Pasture Barefoot,” based on the Museum’s natural history collection, and a wonderful, seasonal display: “Christmas in the 1940s.” The Museum’s new Christmas Store is open with unique gifts for everyone.
Kennebunk’s Brick Store Museum is open year-round – stop in for a look at one of the best historic and art collections in the state!
The Brick Store Museum
Tuesday – Friday, 10am to 4:30pm
Saturdays, 10am to 1pm
117 Main Street, Kennebunk, ME 04043
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