Maine’s windjammers are the subject of a new exhibit opening Thursday, July 1 at Penobscot Marine Museum. “Earning Their Keep: Maine’s Windjammers” will include historic photos, artifacts, ephemera, videos, schooner models and rotating exhibits by contemporary marine photographers.

“Maine’s windjammers are the largest commercial sailing fleet in the world They’re still sailing not because of the efforts of some marine preservation society, but because their skippers are making them pay their way,” said museum curator Ben Fuller.

He added that the passenger-carrying schooners played a major role in establishing Maine’s modern reputation for coastal tourism, and they continue to be an important part of the Midcoast region’s economy.

The first rotating exhibit to open the show will feature the photography of Benjamin Mendlowitz of Brooklin. Mendlowitz is renowned for his work in WoodenBoat magazine and his annual “Calendar of Wooden Boats.” The Mendlowitz exhibit will run through Aug. 3, followed by photographers Michael Kahn (Aug. 5 through 24); Fred LeBlanc (Aug. 26 through Sept. 14); and Neal Parent (Sept. 17 through Oct. 24). Historic photos, ship models and artifacts of the windjammer trade will remain on display throughout the exhibit.

Penobscot Marine Museum is Maine’s oldest maritime museum and home to the state’s largest display of historic boats and outstanding collections of marine art and artifacts, ship models and historic photography. Admission is free for Searsport residents. For more information, call 548-2529 or visit PenobscotMarineMuseum.org.

VillageSoup Art/Entertainment Editor Dagney Ernest can be reached at 207-594-4401 or by e-mail to dernest@villagesoup.com.