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Inspiring new learning about the Wabanaki Nations with every visit

In recent years, the Abbe has grown from a small trailside museum, privately operated within Acadia National Park, to an exciting contemporary museum in the heart of downtown Bar Harbor. In 2013, the Museum became the first and only Smithsonian Affiliate in the state of Maine. 

At the Abbe's downtown museum, visitors find dynamic and stimulating exhibitions and activities interspersed with spaces for quiet reflection. The history and cultures of Maine's Native people, the Wabanaki, are showcased through changing exhibitions, special events, teacher workshops, archaeology field schools and craft workshops for children and adults.

From spring through fall, the Abbe's historic trailside museum at Sieur de Monts Spring continues to offer visitors a step back in time to early 20th century presentations of Native American archaeology in Maine.

 

 
We walked through the entire history timeline and viewed the awesome quiet room, as well as student art and the new exhibit. My friends and I were in tears at times. Such a different visit compared to when I visited just two years ago. Now the information is from Wabanaki people themselves, the dots are connected, and the line from past to present becomes clear. Thank You.
— Matzatlx, Maine

2016 Annual Report

It was a busy year at the Abbe Museum, and we hit a major milestone in the fall – we wrapped up the first year of the Abbe’s new strategic plan! This first-year was about staff realignment, planning, double checking feasibility, and forecasting budgets to meet the call of the plan. Of great note is the opening of People of the First Light, which has transformed our exhibition space and how we work with our audiences. Read more about our successes over on our Annual Report website

People of the First Light

People of the First Light, the Abbe Museum's new core exhibit, introduces visitors to the Wabanaki universe, engaging them with the culture and history of a people that is unfamiliar to many. Bringing together oral traditions, personal stories, cultural knowledge, language, and historical accounts with objects, photographs, multi-media, and digital interactives, People of the First Light shares a wide variety of content and perspectives around more than 12,000 years of history, conflict, adaptation, and survival in the Wabanaki homeland.  Read more ›

Strategic Plan

The Abbe Museum will reflect and realize the values of decolonization in all of its practices, working with the Wabanaki Nations to share their stories, history, and culture with a broader audience. This strategic plan will guide the next phase of the Museum’s growth and development, from its adoption in 2015, through the next five to seven years.  Read more ›