Skip Maine state header navigation

Agencies | Online Services | Help

Skip First Level Navigation | Skip All Navigation

Maine: Through the Camera of George W. French

Picture of George French

George W. French (1882-1970) was the recipient of numerous American and foreign awards for his distinguished photography. His work was selected by such firms as American Bell Telephone Company for use in posters; and for many years his photographs were familiar to Americans, as they were reproduced on calendars, postcards and various forms of commerical advertising.

A native of Kezar Falls, Maine, French worked his way through Parsonsfield Seminary, Bridgton Academy and Bates College, where he was an outstanding athlete. He taught and coached at Deerfield and Monson Academies, and worked as an executive for the Boy Scouts of America. In 1922, he decided to devote all his time to his greatest interest, photography. He used an 8x10 view camera for his black and white scenic views. From 1936 to 1955 he was the official photographer for the Maine Development Commission, the State agency then responsible for promoting Maine's economic and recreational potential. This association delighted French because it enabled him to work at what he loved, capturing on film the scenes and people of the State of Maine. The photographs produced by French for the Development Commission were transferred to the Maine State Archives for permanent preservation with all other records of that Agency having archival value; and those used in this exhibit are a selective sample of his work for the Commission.

Of his own work, French said, "I hope to leave a sort of monument to represent a life devoted to picturing the beautiful side of the great out-of doors, as well as preserving in pictures the dignity and charm of everyday folks and their ways of life."