Constance Baxter’s sensitive and expressive 1970 photographs of Katahdin and the flora of Baxter State Park will be featured as a part of Cove Street Arts group show “Out and About II” opening Thursday September 21 and running through November 18. Constance, a.k.a Connie Baxter Marlow, will be present for the opening reception, along with her husband Andrew Cameron Bailey, whose work will also be exhibited .
The exhibition includes museum-quality archivally-printed fine art photographs from Connie’s book “Greatest Mountain: Katahdin’s Wilderness,” first published in 1972 by Scrimshaw Press, a San Francisco-based fine art publisher. A second edition was published by Down East Magazine in 1976. An expanded 3rd edition was published by Tilbury House Publishers in 1999 adding the Wabanaki spiritual connection to Katahdin. The original 1972 edition and the 1999 edition are available for purchase at the Cove Street Arts bookstore. This year is the 51st anniversary of the 1972 edition.
Connie grew up in Maine and was greatly impacted by her great granduncle, former governor Percival P. Baxter and his vision: to bring humanity and nature together in “the right, unspoiled way.”
Connie spent 12 months during 1970/1971, at the age of 24, living in a cabin on Millinocket Lake with her dog Angel. She climbed Katahdin 12 times in that year and was the first woman to climb it in the winter on a 6-day expedition in February of 1971. Her first ascent was at age 13 while at summer camp.
Connie thoroughly researched her uncle’s statements regarding his intent in purchasing Katahdin and the surrounding 200,000 acres. In “Greatest Mountain: Katahdin’s Wilderness” she interspersed black and white and color photographs with Governor Baxter’s quotes, so readers would understand the depth and breadth of his vision for the future of Maine’s unique wilderness.
In 1921 Baxter declared: “Katahdin raises its head aloft, unafraid of the passing storm, and is typical of the rugged character of the people of Maine. The establishment of Baxter State Park will lay the foundation of a policy whereby the present generation will deliver a great inheritance to the generations to come.”
The photos and the book are collectible treasures for Mainers who revere Katahdin and the Baxter legacy of gifting their fortunes to the people of Maine.