Photographic portrait of Charles Scontras

Charles Scontras, University of Maine photo

Maine labor historian, educator, and author Charles Scontras died on March 7, 2021. A professor at the University of Maine for 36 years, Scontras devoted his career to telling the stories of everyday, working-class Maine people. Here at the Maine State Museum, Scontras became best known as the advisor to artist Judy Taylor in her creation of the Maine Labor Mural, a painting in the museum’s collection.

Painting of a man with gray hair and a smock, seated, hammering a shoe. A boy in a hat sits next to him, watching. More people are in the background in different black and white scenes.


Judy Taylor described Scontras as a “guiding light” in her planning and creation of the Maine Labor Mural’s scenes. She honored Scontras’s years of service in education and history by selecting him as a model for the mural’s first panel, titled “Apprenticeship,” that shows a shoemaker teaching his craft to a young apprentice.

See an excerpt from an interview with Judy Taylor here, and listen to her description of her artistic process and the importance of Charles Scontras’s advice and knowledge throughout the creation of the Maine Labor Mural.

Watch for more news about the efforts of the Friends of the Maine State Museum and the Maine State Museum to honor Charles Scontras by raising funds for enhanced web-based educational materials about the Maine Labor Mural.


Maine State Museum