Enter to win a Gabriel Frey Basket

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To celebrate the 25th year of the Native American Festival, we will be raffling off this beautiful Gabriel Frey Market Basket. 

Gabriel Frey is a Passamaquoddy artist who learned to make brown ash baskets from his grandfather. His baskets can be seen in museums and galleries across Maine, and his work was recently featured in museum exhibits in Maine and Connecticut. Gabe was a recipient of a Native Arts New England grant from the New England Foundation for the Arts in 2008, and he teaches basketmaking to apprentice Wabanaki basketmakers.

If you have always wanted to own a Gabriel Frey piece, now is your chance! We will be raffling off this basket from now until July 8, 2018. Tickets are available in the shop, online, and at the Native American Festival on July 7 – 1 for $2.00, 3 for $5.00, 7 for $10.00. You won’t want to miss out on adding this piece to your personal collection. The winner will be announced on July 8, so grab your tickets today and support the Abbe as we change lives through learning!

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Abbe Museum Indian Market Indigenous Film Festival

The Abbe Museum and Reel Pizza are partnering to present the region’s first ever Indigenous Film Festival during the Abbe Museum Indian Market, May 18-21. Each evening will feature films by and about Indigenous peoples, presenting stories often overlooked in the film industry. The Abbe Museum Indian Market Indigenous Film Festival’s inaugural year will include feature films, documentaries, and Q&A sessions with filmmakers.

We are proud to announce the list of films being shown this year. Alanis Obomsawin’s Our People Will Be Healed; Jeff Barnaby’s Rhymes for Young Ghouls; Valerie Red-Horses’ MANKILLER; Ciara Lacy’s Out of State; and Sydney Freeland’s Drunktown’s Finest will be featured. All Indigenous, all incredibly talented storytellers sharing a diversity of topics.

Hosting a film festival in the heart of Wabanaki homeland is a labor of love, and this year two of our features are made by Wabanaki filmmakers, Alanis Obomsawin, Abenaki from Odanak, and Jeff Barnaby, Mi'gMaq from Listugui, will bring their talent to the Reel Pizza screen for visitors near and far. The Abbe Museum hopes to continue highlighting Wabanaki filmmakers while also showcasing films by talented Indigenous people from around the world as we move forward in years to come producing this event.

This past winter we have highlighted a number of films featuring topics relating to Indigeneity in a lead up series to this film festival. The sheer diversity of films in this lead up series demonstrates the power of film and forced us to confront issues of representation on screen. From the silent film Daughter of Dawn to Powwow Highway, we know that these images are important to unpack.

We would like to thank our partners at Reel Pizza and Elizabeth Weatherford from the National Museum for the American Indian for helping make this vision a reality.

Come celebrate Indigenous filmmakers with us! 

Click on titles to view trailers.

Our People Will Be Healed

 Abenaki filmmaker, Alanis Obomsawin

Abenaki filmmaker, Alanis Obomsawin

Abenaki filmmaker Alanis Obomsawin’s 50th film, Our People Will Be Healed, reveals how a Cree community in Manitoba has been enriched through the power of education. The Helen Betty Osborne Ininiw Education Resource Centre in Norway House, north of Winnipeg, receives a level of funding that few other Indigenous institutions enjoy. With a focus on self-determination and sustainability, it is home to a remarkable education centre and a range of community-managed industries, but the legacy of colonial policies and the traumas of both the residential school and the crisis around murdered and missing women remain deeply felt. With Our People Will Be Healed, Obomsawin shows us what action-driven decolonization actually looks like, using interviews and gorgeous landscape photography to represent this vibrant place in all its complexity and beauty.

Rhymes for Young Ghouls

 Still from Rhymes for young Ghouls

Still from Rhymes for young Ghouls

Rhymes for Young Ghouls is grim story of survival written and directed by Mig’maq filmmaker Jeff Barnaby. In 1976, a Mi'gMaq teenager Aila (Devery Jacobs) plots revenge against the sadistic Indian agent, Popper (Mark Antony Krupa), who runs a residential school. At 15, Aila is the weed princess of Red Crow. Hustling with her uncle Burner, she sells enough dope to pay Popper her "truancy tax", keeping her out of residential school. But when Aila's drug money is stolen and her father Joseph returns from prison, the precarious balance of Aila's world is destroyed. Her only options are to run or fight and Mi’gMaq don't run. 

 

MANKILLER

 Wilma Mankiller, Cherokee 

Wilma Mankiller, Cherokee 

When history fails to preserve stories from our past and present, it’s up to us to correct the record. Wilma Mankiller, the first woman elected Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation, is omitted from most history books despite ranking among revolutionary leaders like Harriet Tubman or Eleanor Roosevelt. She was an activist and a champion to a nation – and it’s time the world remembers her name. MANKILLER is a documentary celebrating a leader who defied all odds to make a difference for her people. During a time when American Indians found themselves disenfranchised and undervalued by the United States at large, Wilma emerged as a champion of the Cherokee Nation and became its first female Principal Chief in 1985.

 

Out of State

 Out of State, Directed by Ciara Lacy

Out of State, Directed by Ciara Lacy

Shipped thousands of miles away from the tropical islands of Hawaii to a private prison in the Arizona desert, two native Hawaiians discover their indigenous traditions from a fellow inmate serving a life sentence. It's from this unlikely setting that David and Hale finish their terms and return to Hawaii, hoping for a fresh start. Eager to prove to themselves and to their families that this experience has changed them forever, David and Hale struggle with the hurdles of life as formerly incarcerated men, asking the question: can you really go home again?

 

Drunktown’s Finest

 Drunktown's Finest directed by Sydney Freeland

Drunktown's Finest directed by Sydney Freeland

On a beautifully desolate Navajo reservation in New Mexico, three young people – a college-bound, devout Christian; a rebellious and angry father-to-be; and a promiscuous but gorgeous transgender woman – search for love and acceptance. As the three find their lives becoming more complicated and their troubles growing, their paths begin to intersect. With little in common other than a shared heritage, they soon learn that the key to overcoming their respective obstacles may come from the most unlikely of sources, each other. Inspired by a 20/20 story that called her hometown of Gallup, NM “Drunktown USA,” writer/director Sydney Freeland has constructed a moving and ultimately uplifting story about coming of age in the most challenging of circumstances while still finding hope, healing, and the chance for a better life.   

Abbe Staff News

We are excited to announce the arrival of new staff member Joanna Robinson-Clarke as our Administrative Associate.

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Joanna focuses on facilities and office management and supports the finance and event staff with such responsibilities as vendor and contractor coordination, property rentals, cash management, and financial reporting.

A Mount Desert Island local, Joanna studied Anthropology and Sociology at Rochester Institute of Technology before returning home to pursue her love for baking. As an avid volunteer in local communities, she realized her passion for community development and outreach, which she now brings to her role as the Administrative Associate and greening advocate for the Abbe.  

In her free time, she volunteers with local theater groups, collects board games, and bakes for friends and family. Please join us in welcoming Joanna to the Museum and Bar Harbor!

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After three and a half years as Director of Advancement at the Abbe, Heather Anderson has made the difficult decision to leave the Museum. Over her tenure, she has launched The Abbe Midsummer, drastically improved the Abbe's social media presence, and was a driving force behind all of the Museum's fundraising efforts.   

"I have genuinely cherished my time working with Abbe staff, our Board of Trustees and Advisory Council members, and especially our donors who keep the Museum moving forward," Heather said. "The Abbe's mission is deeply meaningful to me and it will be difficult to give up this important work. It truly has been a privilege to have known and worked with so many inspiring, creative, and brilliant people over the years. Significant accomplishments have been achieved in our decolonizing museum practices over the last few years and I'm so honored to have been a part of it all."

Heather will maintain her roots in the Bar Harbor and MDI community and will stay on to do contract work for the Abbe Museum Indian Market. We will miss her infectious laugh and her lead by example work ethic. Good luck with this next adventure, Heather!

Native American Festival & Basketmakers Market Celebrates 25 Years with a New Location

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The Native American Festival and Basketmakers Market celebrates 25 years on July 7, 2018, with a new location at the Abbe Museum’s downtown location. The Festival is free and open to the public and features the celebrated Native arts market, Native music, dance, storytelling, craft demonstrations, and a silent auction. A collaborative partnership between the Abbe Museum and the Maine Indian Basketmakers Alliance (MIBA), the Festival offers visitors, collectors, and gallery owners the opportunity to buy directly from the artists. 

“The Native American Festival is a unique community gathering in a historic area of the Wabanaki homeland and has built a reputation for being an important family event for locals on Mount Desert Island,” said Abbe Museum President and CEO Cinnamon Catlin-Legutko. “As the Festival evolves and finds its home in the heart of downtown Bar Harbor, we recognize the strong legacy of this event—a legacy based on tradition. It has been and will continue to be a gathering of Wabanaki people celebrating the arts and traditions of the Wabanaki Nations.”

This nationally renowned event features one-of-a-kind handcrafted Wabanaki ash and sweet grass baskets, wood and stone carvings, jewelry, beadwork, painted drums, and other items representing the beauty and culture of the Maliseet, Micmac, Passamaquoddy, and Penobscot people in Maine and the Maritimes. For many visitors, this is a rare opportunity to meet the artists and learn about contemporary Wabanaki arts and cultures. 

The Abbe Museum is expanding its marketplace for Wabanaki artists with the development of the Abbe Museum Indian Market (AMIM) each May and the Festival will continue to serve an important educational and economic role for the community alongside AMIM. As sister markets, the two offer a range of opportunities for the public to engage with Wabanaki artists and educators. The Festival serves as a non-juried, non-competitive marketplace. It is accessible to artists who are beginning their careers and interested in working alongside seasoned artists who have done larger markets. 

“This annual celebration serves an important cultural function because it is a space for Wabanaki people to share traditions such as artistic expertise, dance, music, and storytelling,” said Executive Director of MIBA Jennifer Neptune, Penobscot. “The Festival is a staple of summer in Bar Harbor and we’re proud to partner with the Abbe to continue to provide this vital space for Wabanaki peoples to interact with the larger public.”

MIBA, as part of its mission to preserve and extend the art of basketmaking within the Wabanaki communities, is responsible for bringing in dozens of new “next generation” basketmakers and their families to the event. At the time of MIBA’s founding in 1993, there were fewer than a dozen basket makers younger than the age of 50 statewide that were still practicing and learning this ancient and once prolific art form. Through 25 years of educational programs and marketing efforts, MIBA has lowered the average age of basket makers from 63 to 40 and increased numbers from 55 founding members to 200+ basketmakers today. 
Sponsored generously by Maine Public, there is undoubtedly something for everyone at the Native American Festival and Basketmakers Market. Proceeds support the non-profit teaching and apprenticeship programs of MIBA.

The Festival gates are open from 10 am to 4 pm in the Abbe Museum’s backyard at 26 Mount Desert St in Bar Harbor. 

About Maine Indian Basketmakers Alliance
The Maine Indian Basketmakers Alliance is a nonprofit Native American arts service organization focused on preserving and extending the art of basketmaking within Maine’s Native American community. MIBA seeks to preserve the ancient tradition of ash and sweetgrass basketmaking among the Maliseet, Micmac, Passamaquoddy, and Penobscot tribes.
 

Wabanaki Art & Artists Giving Circle

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Can you imagine a society without the creative influence of the arts and culture? The arts are fundamental to our existence, to our humanity. They foster creativity, beauty, and goodness, bring us joy, help us express ourselves, and build bridges between cultures. Art is alive at the Abbe—from the music escaping our galleries to the exhibits that are full of energy and imagination—the arts offer a kind of learning that can only enhance every other understanding. Art is important in society because it communicates across barriers of language, class, and culture. It elicits a visceral reaction when words alone often cannot. The pleasure people take in art—their response—is in itself a meaningful event.

From this beautiful spot in Bar Harbor, on a jagged rock reaching into the Atlantic, the cragged shores, woodland trails, and calming lakes of this place have lured artists for generations. Wabanaki people are part of this artistic tradition and they have been here, in their homeland on Mount Desert Island, for thousands of generations. During the Rusticator era (the 1840s to 1920s), for example, Wabanaki people helped make Bar Harbor and the island attractive to visitors – making art and selling it to ensure cultural survival for many art forms.

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Wabanaki artists’ working as educators, mentors, and citizens of our community is vital to a healthy and vibrant civic life. Currency in art has a beautiful double meaning – it’s about cultural relevance as well as economics. Tribal communities in Maine experience record unemployment (60%) and poverty rates (30%). Our strategic plan, which launched in August 2015, identifies important investments the Abbe can make to benefit Wabanaki artists and their communities. 

To pinpoint what the Abbe could do to boost Wabanaki creativity and broaden marketplace access, we convened 12 Wabanaki artists in 2014 for a creative summit about the current state and future of Native art in Maine. Through facilitated activities, we developed a list of big ideas which informed our strategic plan and planted the seed for exciting new projects, including the Abbe Museum Indian Market (AMIM), debuting May 18-20, 2018. As Passamaquoddy Master Basketmaker Geo Neptune said recently:

“Wabanaki artists have been gaining momentum in the Indian art world, claiming ribbons at world-famous Indian markets across the country. As Northeastern indigenous art—and more specifically, Wabanaki art—continues to gain the attention of collectors from around the world, I believe that Bar Harbor is poised to become the “Santa Fe” of the Northeast—a place where visitors from many walks of life come to experience Indigenous North American history and culture. Given the Abbe’s history of working with Wabanaki people and the admirable goals set by their current strategic plan, I am confident that the Abbe Museum is the only organization that is able, with the support of its community and partners, to make this dream become a reality.”
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We envision Bar Harbor as THE destination for Northeastern Native art. Wabanaki artists will be at the core of this regional economic success story. Our creative placemaking initiatives will grow, including, but not limited to, public art projects, artist residencies, and a creative brand. Supporting these projects can help reimagine the past and present, transform the future, and experience possibility. By supporting Wabanaki art and artists, you will influence economic and community growth and create an active and vibrant society. There is nothing more inspiring to an artist than someone's faith in the value of their work. 

The Abbe Museum Indian Market and other projects to come will have show-stopper qualities that will take Wabanaki art to audiences that would otherwise never be exposed to it. You can help support this important creative placemaking initiative by donating to the newly created Giving Circle for Wabanaki art and artists. Our goal this year is to raise $10,000! 

SUPPORT WABANAKI ART & ARTISTS

Join us at the Abbe Museum Indian Market!

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After this last storm, we bet you’re just as excited for spring as we are. And although there are a plethora of symbols to declare the arrival of warmer weather (from May flowers to baby animals), we would like to throw another into the mix: The Abbe Museum Indian Market (AMIM). This May the Abbe Museum is taking over Bar Harbor’s Village Green for a 3-day long celebration of Native art and artists! It's sure to be an exciting event, unlike anything else this area has seen before - and we could use your help!

As a volunteer you will get an inside look at this brand new initiative for the Museum, experiencing it in a way the average visitor will not. You'll meet cool people, be inspired by amazing artists, and learn about different Indigenous cultures from all over North America. All this while also supporting a great cause and giving back to your community.

Volunteer opportunities are listed below and we ask that interested volunteers commit to a half day of work on either Saturday or Sunday (with the exception being Set Up & Breakdown Volunteers and Models who will have a different schedule). If something catches your eye let our Associate Director of Advancement, Jill Sawyer, know by emailing jill@abbemuseum.org or calling 207-288-3519. Thank you in advance for your support, we are excited to work with you!


Half/Full Day Opportunities

GREETERS

Stationed at an entrance to the Village Green, Greeters will be responsible for orienting visitors to the event and will take turns doing walkthroughs to make sure visitors are having a great time. It’s a fun and easy way to help out, all while meeting new people and enjoying the beautiful May weather. 

ABBE BOOTH

Like Greeters, volunteers stationed at the Abbe Booth will be on hand to address visitor needs. This involves answering questions, chatting about other Abbe Museum initiatives, or selling t-shirts. If you get excited about giving directions or have a lot of opinions on where to get the best food in town, this may be a good fit for you!

PROGRAM ASSISTANTS

This category will be assigned to different parts of the event as the day progresses. From assisting with the set up of the Fashion Show to troubleshooting tech for performances, you will get an in-depth look at the ins and outs of making an event of this magnitude happen. 

ARTIST LIAISON

Assigned to a specific section of the event, this role will be responsible for making sure that the artists attending the Market are taken care of. This encompasses anything from handing out snacks, giving them breaks, or just chatting with them about their experience - a little bit of your time will have a big impact.


Specific Time Commitment 

SET UP & BREAKDOWN

Volunteers assisting with Set Up and Breakdown will be on hand to transform the Village Green into the Abbe Museum Indian Market...and back again. Kind of like a fairy godmother, but with tools instead of a magic wand! Set up will be taking place on Saturday morning, with breakdown occurring on Sunday afternoon. For more information or to learn more about the schedule please reach out to Jill (jill@abbemuseum.org or 207-288-3519.)

MODELS

Strut your stuff in some fabulous Native designed clothing and accessories! Models are needed for 2 events, both listed below. If you would like to participate, please reach out to Jill (jill@abbemuseum.org or 207-288-3519) for more information about the schedule and model requirements. 

Kick Off Event Models: Put on your best all-black outfit and come work the crowd in some beautiful Native made accessories at our Market Kick-Off Event, Friday, May 18th from 5 to 7 pm. 

Fashion Show Models: The AMIM Fashion Show will highlight Native fashion representing both couture and contemporary looks. Models will need to be available on May 19th from 11 am to 3 pm, with the show running from 1 to 2 pm.

*Please note that not all models being invited to participate in the show may get to walk the runway. 


Jill Sawyer is the Abbe Museum's Associate Director of Advancement. She provides advancement support for the income generating activities and daily operations of the Abbe Museum and is also responsible for building and strengthening relationships with Native artists. In 2013 she spent 3 months in Manila, Philippines, evaluating the Museo Pambata’s Mobile Library Program. This experience became the foundation for her master’s thesis, which discusses the importance of advocacy and community outreach in museums.

Abbe Museum to Host First-Ever Kid’s Summer Camp

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The Abbe Museum is excited to announce the Abbe Museum Summer Camp, a children's day camp where highly-experienced museum staff and Wabanaki educators will oversee outdoor activities and educational opportunities for children ages 7-12. Scheduled for August 20-24, 2018, from 8 am – 3 pm, each day will be thematic with other camp activities mixed in to keep children active and engaged. 

“We’re excited to offer this one-of-a-kind learning experience that sparks the imagination while offering plenty of fun,” said the Abbe’s Curator of Education, Starr Kelly. “The Abbe is dedicated to an inclusive and active education in order to foster a lifelong passion for learning. Campers will get to be chefs, scientists, artists, botanists, storytellers, and explore the rich and exciting world of the Abbe Museum’s two locations.”

Throughout the week, segments will be dedicated to the pursuit of 12,000 years of history and culture in the Wabanaki homeland, allowing campers to work with the Museum’s educational collection as well as go on scavenger hunts and respond to art made by Wabanaki students.

One day will celebrate Wabanaki storytelling traditions with a storyteller who will share stories the way they were meant to be shared: orally and within a community of people. Each camper will have the opportunity to create their own story and represent it visually, and all of the stories will be shared on the Abbe’s social media platforms. 

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The Museum will delve into Wabanaki perspectives of science and environment by going on a hike inside Acadia National Park. Campers will learn to identify important plants that Wabanaki people harvest and use and will also learn about Indigenous foods of the Americas, participating in hands-on cooking experiences where they will even get to try some Native-inspired recipes. Campers will even get to produce and script their very own cooking segment. 

A day centered on the arts and the importance of traditions and expression will teach campers about traditional Wabanaki art forms, giving them the opportunity to make their very own masterpiece. They will get to handle items from the Museum’s collections as they learn more about the artists who made them. 

Camp runs from August 20- 24 from 8 am- 3 pm, mostly at the Museum’s downtown Bar Harbor location at 26 Mount Desert St. The cost to attend is $200 for the week and the extended day program until 5 pm is $88 for the full week or $22 per day. To apply, please visit www.abbemuseum.org/programs and fill out a registration form and return it by May 15, 2018. Space is limited.

Wabanaki Artists from Maine Win Big at Heard Museum Guild Indian Fair & Market

 Geo Neptune's first place and Best of Class basket.

Geo Neptune's first place and Best of Class basket.

Geo Neptune, Passamaquoddy, won first place and Best in Class in Division A baskets (natural fibers and cultural forms) and Sarah Sockbeson, Penobscot, won second place in the same division at the 60th annual Heard Museum Guild Indian Fair & Market on March 3-4, 2018. First-time attendee Jennifer Pictou, Micmac, won Honorable Mention in Division X (personal attire). 

“This was my first experience at the Market and I was so nervous,” said Pictou. “All I really wanted was to make a good showing for my ancestors and let them know I am keeping our art forms alive. I can’t begin to tell you how surprised and pleased I was to win a ribbon for my beadwork. I’m truly humbled at the outcome and am grateful for the opportunity to show what a contemporary Mi’kmaq bead artist can do in a forum where there are so many fantastic and accomplished bead workers from many tribal nations.”
 Jennifer Pictou's Honorable Mention winning clutch. 

Jennifer Pictou's Honorable Mention winning clutch. 

Pictou lives for the flash-in-the-moment art, and she likes to create art that makes people think. At the same time, her art is also rooted in deep traditional ways like storytelling and she takes inspiration from her ancestors’ visual work and combines elements from other eras in both Native and non-Native imagery. She celebrates her ancestral voices by using traditional tribal forms and creating something new.

Neptune is a Master Basketmaker, a Drag Queen, an activist, and an educator, and a 2017 Abbe Museum Fellow. As a two-spirit—an Indigenous cultural gender role that is a sacred blend of both male and female—they have begun using their art as a way to start a dialogue regarding gender identity and expression, sexuality and sexual orientation, and colonization as a way to combine their activism and art. Their winning basket, Apikcilu Binds the Sun, is their first Best of Class ribbon at the Heard Museum Guild Indian Fair & Market. 

 Sarah Sockbeson's second place basket.

Sarah Sockbeson's second place basket.

In 2004, Sockbeson learned the history, techniques, and art that has become modern Native basketry. Today, she harvests and prepares all her own material from scratch. Making baskets requires a great deal of gathering and Sockbeson does all the prep work herself since she believes the selection process is an art unto itself. After she selects a brown ash tree, it is cut, the bark is then pounded continuously, split, gauged (cut), dyed, and woven. Her goal is to embrace the modern world, combine natural elements with bright innovative colors and original designs to create a fresh approach to a timeless art form. 

Other Wabanaki artists invited to attend were Abbe Museum Trustee Jennifer Neptune, Penobscot, Gal Frey, Passamaquoddy, 2017 Abbe Museum Fellow Jeremy Frey, Passamaquoddy, and Molly Neptune Parker, Passamaquoddy. A complete list of artists can be found at http://heard.org/fair/the-fair/artists

The Heard Museum Guild Indian Fair & Market draws nearly 15,000 visitors and more than 600 of the nation’s most outstanding and successful Native artists. Abbe Museum Indian Market Producer Dawn Spears, Narragansett/Choctaw, attended the Market to meet with artists about the Abbe Museum Indian Market coming up May 18-20, 2018, in downtown Bar Harbor. For more information, visit www.abbemuseum.org/indianmarket.  

Abbe Museum Free Admission Program Celebrates Four Years

 Abbe Museum President and CEO, Cinnamon Catlin-Legutko, and Branch Manager, Matt Horton. 

Abbe Museum President and CEO, Cinnamon Catlin-Legutko, and Branch Manager, Matt Horton. 

The Abbe Museum will continue its free admission program during select months in 2018, thanks to the generosity of Machias Savings Bank. Admission will be free February 1-April 28, Monday, October 8 (Indigenous Peoples' Day), and November 1-December 21. 

“Thanks to Machias Saving Bank’s generosity, our free admission program celebrates four years this year,” said Abbe President and CEO, Cinnamon Catlin-Legutko. “This program is important to our mission and is critical to furthering our work as a Smithsonian Affiliate by being easily accessible to the public. We received feedback from a visitor survey conducted last year that 50% our guests visit the Abbe because the Museum contributes to their quality of life. And, one of the most exciting results from this survey is that 55% of our visitors leave and go have conversations with friends and family about what they learned, which is the ultimate goal of museum work.”

The free admission program dates also include Indigenous Peoples’ Day on Monday, October 8, 2018. For the very first time last year, the Abbe Museum and Acadia National Park co-hosted a Wabanaki led celebration of Indigenous Peoples’ Day at the Museum’s downtown location. John Dennis, Mi’kmaq, kicked off the day with hand drumming and songs on the front patio and he also shared traditional and contemporary songs from his community to demonstrate the continued cultural traditions, ending the day with a storytelling hour for people of all ages. A similar event is planned for this year. 

“Everyone at Machias Savings Bank is honored to partner with the Abbe Museum to offer free admission,” said Branch Manager, Matt Horton. "As Maine’s first and only Smithsonian Affiliate, this program helps raise the Abbe’s statewide visibility as the only non-tribal museum dedicated solely to sharing the story of the Wabanaki Nations. I encourage everyone to take the time and visit.”

The Abbe staff is designing and installing two new exhibits, Emergence - Root Clubs of the Penobscot Nation, opening in April, and the 2018 Waponahki Student Art Show, opening in May. In addition, the Museum’s education team is in the process of putting together a dynamic programming schedule that gives visitors unique opportunities to engage with artists, curators, and educators that explore the Abbe's current exhibitions and vast collections. The Museum hosted 674 students with 21 programs on-site in 2017 and reached 1,107 students with 10 programs across the state, totaling 1,781 students with 31 programs. 

The Abbe is currently open Thursdays through Saturdays, 10 am to 4 pm, through April 28, 2018. From May 1 through October 31, the Museum will be open seven days a week. The Abbe’s Acadia National Park location at Sieur de Monts Spring will be open seven days a week from mid-May to mid-October. Please visit abbemuseum.org for more details.
 

Sponsor an Art Kit and Inspire a Young Artist

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The Abbe Museum is gearing up for our 17th annual Waponahki Student Art Show, in collaboration with Maine Indian Education. This art show and artist reception always bring together a wonderful variety of art created by more than 50 Passamaquoddy, Penobscot, Maliseet, and Micmac students from early childhood education through high school. All the artwork will be on display in the Abbe's Community Gallery for six months.

As an award for having their artwork selected for this fan-favorite show, each student receives an art supply kit consisting of a few items to feed their artistic passion - sketch pads, paints, paint brushes, charcoal, pencils, pencil holders - and a framed certificate.

The Abbe has been able to produce these popular kits through the support of Maine Indian Education and generous donations from community members like you. For just $25, you can sponsor one of these art supply kits, ensuring that each student receives an award for their creativity. We need at least 50 kits this year. 

Each sponsor will have a kit named in their honor, as well as receive an invitation to the Waponahki Student Art Show reception held in May, which is usually a private reception reserved for students and their friends and families. The exhibit opens to the public in early May.

Please join us. Spread the word. Make a donation. 100% of your gift will directly fund these student art supply kits. 

Sponsor an Art Kit
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Thank you for inspiring a young artist! 

Abbe Museum Indian Market Kicks Off on May 18

More than 75 Native American artists and performers from 35 Nations across the U.S. and Canada will attend the inaugural Abbe Museum Indian Market (AMIM) on May 18-20, 2018, in downtown Bar Harbor. The event will also include a fashion show, film festival, storytelling, dancing, music, and other internationally acclaimed performers. 

"Choosing downtown Bar Harbor as the location for an Indian Market was definitely a strategic decision," Abbe President/CEO Cinnamon Catlin-Legutko said. "Wabanaki people and their ancestors have lived in Pesamkuk, this place we now call Mount Desert Island and Frenchman Bay, for thousands of generations."
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In what is known as the encampment period, from about 1840 to 1920, Wabanaki lived like the other residents of Maine, speaking English but retaining cultural values, language, and limited privileges. Artists and craftsmen would travel to tourist areas, like Bar Harbor, in the summer to sell baskets and other items supplementing their income. They offered guiding services and other services and performances of traditional music and dance. The purchasers were the seasonal residents known as “rusticators” – people like the Abbe Museum's founder, Dr. Abbe, and his colleagues who were drawn to the natural beauty of the Maine coast.

These summer encampments were both the tribal members’ homes and retail outlets. Bringing people together at the encampments and the market for Native baskets and other goods helped to sustain Native culture and community. When the encampment period ended, Wabanaki became largely invisible to non-Native Maine, but they continued to live in their communities, sustaining their cultures.

Small festivals are found throughout the year in Maine, but a juried Indian art show is relatively unknown in the Northeast. Award-winning Wabanaki artists like Jeremy Frey, Theresa Secord, Emma Soctomah, Geo Neptune, and Sarah Sockbeson travel out West each year to participate in the Indian Arts marketplace, and they’ve repeatedly taken top prizes. By creating this event, the Museum will shine a bright light on Wabanaki artists and deepen the economic impact of art making for tribal communities. 

 image courtesy jenniferelizabethkreisberg.com

image courtesy jenniferelizabethkreisberg.com

Curator emeritus Elizabeth Weatherford from the National Museum of the American Indian is working with the Abbe Museum and Film Festival host Reel Pizza Cinerama to screen and select Indigenous films, which will be shown all three days of the event. The highly anticipated fashion show will showcase Native American fashion and accessories representing both couture and contemporary looks. 

Award-winning vocalist, composer, producer, and activist Jennifer Kreisberg, Tuscarora, will take the stage several times throughout the weekend of the Market. Kreisberg comes from four generations of Seven Singing Sisters through the maternal line and is known for fierce vocals, soaring range, and lilting, breath-taking harmonies.

The Museum will communicate more details about the Market on their website www.abbemuseum.org/indianmarket, including information about lodging, travel, and additional special events. Anyone interested in volunteering can get in touch with Jill Sawyer, Associate Director of Advancement, at jill@abbemuseum.org or 207-288-3519. 
 

Reis Education Canoe

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The boundless impact that the Reis Education Canoe has had on Abbe Museum educational programs is one that will continue to strengthen the quality of our programs, enhance the visitor experience, and heighten awareness of Wabanaki history and culture for years to come. From the moment construction began in the courtyard of the Abbe, built by our good friends David Moses Bridges, Passamaquoddy, and Steve Cayard, visitors were captivated by its artistry, craftsmanship, and tradition. With several visitors returning daily, some had the chance to participate in construction while others were delighted to monitor its progress, and the mesmerizing qualities of this almost lost art form continue to dazzle Abbe visitors today.

The Reis Education Canoe is permanently displayed in the Orientation Gallery, making it a part of the Museum experience for each individual visitor. Regardless of whether or not a visitor decides to enter the Museum, the canoe catches their attention and provides a tangible, engaging interaction with a piece of Wabanaki culture and history. In this way, the Reis Education Canoe helps the Abbe communicate a very simple but critical message: there are Wabanaki people in Maine today, and their cultures and traditions are alive and well.

The canoe appeals to our visitors’ curiosities, making it a natural highlight within tours of our downtown location. The educational nature of this piece allows visitors to have a hands-on experience with it, which activates different styles of learning among visitors of all ages. Each school group that has visited the Abbe since the canoe was constructed has had a chance to learn about the canoe, the process and labor involved in building it, and its cultural and historical significance to Wabanaki people. Each summer, the Reis Education Canoe is featured in our Cultural Connections in the Park program series and has dazzled visitors from our Sieur de Monts location to Jordan Pond. This popular program series continually reaches between 1,500 and 3,000 people each summer. 

As much as one can say about the construction process and history of birchbark canoes, nothing truly compares to paddling one on the water. During the summer of 2014, then Abbe Educator George Neptune brought the Reis Education Canoe to Echo Lake to provide campers with a hands-on learning experience that can only be found on Mount Desert Island. After discussing the history, cultural significance, and construction process, visitors were not only able to ride in the canoe but also experience the ease of paddling it for themselves, creating a cherished memory that can never be replicated.

In 2015, Good Morning America’s Ginger Zee featured the canoe as one of her “clues” when Acadia National Park was named America’s favorite place, putting the Abbe Museum and the Reis Education Canoe at the forefront of Mount Desert Island’s most attractive features.

The canoe is currently in Portland for the 2018 Portland Museum of Art Biennial exhibit and will be on view through early June 2018.

New Exhibit Looks at a Centuries-Old Wabanaki Craft

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The Abbe Museum is excited to announce a new exhibit coming to its main gallery in April 2018, Emergence - Root Clubs of the Penobscot Nation. This exhibit celebrates a uniquely Wabanaki art form, a centuries-old craft that has frequently been dismissed by museums and academics as not “traditionally” Wabanaki. The exhibit opens on Friday, April 6, 2018, and an opening reception will be held that evening from 5-7 pm.

“Unlike the ball club, which is very well known and very well published, the Penobscot root club has been almost completely ignored in the history books,” said exhibit curator Stan Neptune, Penobscot. “In the late 19th century when anthropologists started collecting Native American objects, they perceived root clubs as just tourist items. They had no idea of the history. The Emergence exhibit will tell that full history.”
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The exhibit highlights the diversity of past and contemporary themes found in root club carving. Each club is made out of a sapling, with the slender trunk becoming a chip-carved handle and the complex wood of the root ball’s burl transformed into evocative representations of people and creatures. Some are painted; some have ornaments attached. 

Root clubs have been viewed by museums and anthropologists as “tourist art,” not “traditional” enough to warrant a place in museums. Decades of research by exhibit curators Stan Neptune and Joan Lester have built the body of evidence to show that this uniquely Wabanaki form, in fact, is very much a part of Wabanaki traditions going back centuries or more. And while new styles have been created over the years to support an economy tied to tourism, the earlier forms have continued and are still being made today.

The curators, together with team members from the Abbe, are sharing for the first time what they have learned from more than 600 extant Penobscot root clubs, many still in private collections. The exhibit will include more than 50 clubs, plus images and other artifacts to illustrate:

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  • the history and evolution of this diverse art form
  • how the root club has been and still is made
  • stories of root club carvers covering more than two centuries
  • how museum attitudes towards root clubs have shaped collections
  • and how private collectors came to value and protect these critical pieces of cultural heritage. 

As with all projects, the Abbe’s decolonizing vision is paramount with this exhibit. Through representation of this art form, based on the experience and shared knowledge of a Penobscot carver and information from Wabanaki carvers and culture-keepers over the centuries, the story of Penobscot root clubs will emerge as it should have long ago. 

The opening reception on April 6, from 5-7 pm, is open to Abbe members, donors, and sponsors. To receive an invitation, please email jill@abbemuseum.org or call 207-288-3519. Guests are invited to celebrate with curatorial staff, artists, and fellow supporters while snacking on refreshments from local eateries. 

This exhibit is made possible by the generous support from the following:

Anonymous
Anonymous Foundation
Bangor Savings Bank Foundation
Fisher Charitable Foundation
Hattie A. and Fred C. Lynam Trust
Mr. and Mrs. Douglas and Ann Sharpe

The Abbe Museum's winter hours will be in effect through April, with the Museum open Thursdays through Saturdays, 10 am to 4 pm. The Museum is open seven days a week from May 1–October 31st every year.

Volunteer News: Hello 2018!

 MIDSUMMER PHOTOS © BY ROGIER VAN BAKEL, EAGEREYEPHOTO.COM

MIDSUMMER PHOTOS © BY ROGIER VAN BAKEL, EAGEREYEPHOTO.COM

Hello, Volunteers! As we kick-off a new year, I would like to take the time to thank you all for an amazing 2017. This has been a particularly busy year for us here at the Abbe Museum  –  with exhibits going up, new & annual events to plan and produce, and tons of great new programs  –  we have definitely been living up to the term “busy season”.

And through it all, you have been right there!

Whether it’s strutting your stuff on the runway at the Abbe Midsummer or doing your best bear impression to entertain the kids at the Native American Festival and Basketmakers Market– you always go above & beyond our expectations and we could not do the amazing work that we do without you. So, THANK YOU again (and again and again) for your dedicated work and support!

So far, 2018 is shaping up to be another great year for the Museum, and I'm excited to share one event in particular with you: The Abbe Museum Indian Market (AMIM)! If you have been following us this past year you know that the Abbe Museum is set to launch its inaugural Indian Market this spring, from May 18th to 20th (mark your calendars). We want to shine a light on Wabanaki artists, working together to create a platform from which they can present their beautiful work to the world. It's bound to be one of our biggest endeavors to date and we will definitely need all hands on deck to pull it off! 

In the next couple of months keep an eye on our social media platforms where we will be highlighting roles for AMIM – let us know if a particular job catches your eye and be sure to like and share with your followers as well (the more the merrier). This is your chance to gain insight into an exciting new venture for the Abbe Museum, all while supporting an amazing group of artists. We can’t wait for you to join us!

Want to know more right now? Contact me at jill@abbemuseum.org or 207-288-3519 for a sneak peek at all the ways you can lend a hand.


Jill Sawyer is the Abbe Museum's Associate Director of Advancement. She provides advancement support for the income generating activities and daily operations of the Abbe Museum and is also responsible for building and strengthening relationships with Native artists. In 2013 she spent 3 months in Manila, Philippines, evaluating the Museo Pambata’s Mobile Library Program. This experience became the foundation for her master’s thesis, which discusses the importance of advocacy and community outreach in museums.

Abbe Staff News

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Julia Gray, director of collections and research,  has made the difficult decision to leave the Abbe Museum. After 17 years of incredible dedication, strategic thinking, and tireless support of our mission, Julia has decided to start the next chapter of her career as an independent museum consultant. 

"It is certainly with mixed emotions that I leave the Abbe after more than 17 years, and all of the challenges and accomplishments we have seen over that time," Julia said. "I have learned so much and built so many wonderful relationships, and I know that the Abbe is in a great place and headed for an exciting future. I am excited to launch a new phase in my life and reach out to connect and work with museum and public history people across the state and the region as an independent museum consultant. And I am not leaving the area - my husband John and I are well settled on the banks of the Narramissic River in Orland, and I am looking forward to spending more time there."

Julia started with the Abbe working in collections, and one of her first tasks was to move the collections from the original 1928 building to the new downtown location, which opened in 2001. She has steadily taken on greater leadership roles through the years and was most currently a member of the Leadership Team. While there are many successes on her resume, her work on the People of the First Light exhibit, leading our archaeological research and initiatives, and her skillful care and planning for our important collections have created a legacy at the Abbe.

As you can imagine, Julia's institutional knowledge will be impossible to replicate. We will miss her dedication and enthusiasm for her work and her team, and, most of all, we will miss her genuine, incredible self. Thank you, Julia, for all that you've done to make the Abbe Museum a better organization. 

Thanksgiving Truths

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One of my earliest Thanksgiving memories is from Kindergarten. I remember huddling around a craft table with my classmates, grappling for crayons and pairs of scissors that weren’t sticky with glue. The class was divided in half; each student assigned to be a pilgrim or an Indian. I was an Indian, tasked with assembling my own headdress of a wide construction paper band accented with three feathers. My only concern was that my feathers didn’t stand up straight, flopping under their own weight. I never thought to question this bizarre ritual; it was simply another game of make-believe. It was also the last time Native Americans were a part of my curriculum until my high school American History teacher tackled the French and Indian War. I now understand that, since my childhood, I’ve been an active participant in an annual tradition that simplifies, commercializes, and undermines Indigenous identity. I bet this is a common memory for many of the Islander’s readers today. And we know that it’s an activity that still happens in classrooms across the U.S. 
   
The Abbe Museum’s “Truth About Thanksgiving Program” took place on Monday, November 20, 2017, and it aimed to address the false narrative of the “First Thanksgiving,” which is pervasive in early childhood education, and has become an intrinsic part of the Thanksgiving holiday. The story of the Pilgrims meeting the Wampanoag for a peaceful meal is more legend than fact. In reality, Thanksgiving as we know it was conceptualized by President Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War as a means of unifying the divided nation. It was intended to be a reflection on American bounty, family, and tradition. Thanksgiving did not become an official National Holiday until 1941.

What is the harm? The “First Thanksgiving” story is taught as a parable of kindness, empathy, and overcoming differences, but it is inaccurate, simplified, and perpetuated annually by schools, books, movies, TV shows, advertisements, and decorations. There are only two brief written accounts by colonists and an oral Wampanoag account of the 1621 feast. The limited knowledge of the event allowed the dominant Eurocentric society to manipulate the story, recounting a tale of harmony, unity, and togetherness. This misrepresentation simplifies the complicated relationship between the two communities. It portrays the pilgrims as American folk heroes and romanticizes the idea of colonization, which is always a destructive act to those who are colonized. This narrative places Native Americans exclusively in the past, ignoring and erasing Indigenous survival.

As Thanksgiving has been commercialized, images of Native Americans have been used as marketing devices. We see them on cards and window clings, on commercials and in craft kits. Children dress as caricatures of Native people for school plays and activities. This perpetuates stereotypes and contributes to the continued commodification of Native culture. By addressing these difficult truths, the Abbe Museum hopes to promote conversation and ignite action. Curator of Education, Starr Kelly, explains, “it’s important to challenge preconceived notions, even when they’re popular. That’s how change happens.”

I’ll leave you with the questions that the Abbe posed at the end of the program: What makes a holiday meaningful to you? What would your Thanksgiving be like without the “First Thanksgiving” narrative? 
 

Angela Raup is the Manager of Guest Experience at the Abbe Museum. She develops learning and retail opportunities for our visitors, all within a decolonizing context and a team-based work environment. She works closely with the Curator of Education to co-develop, schedule, and deliver public educational programming, such as lectures, panels, workshops, demonstrations, films, etc. She is a Certified Interpretive Guide and enjoys utilizing elements of storytelling to create meaningful guest experiences. 

We are What we are Because of You

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From this beautiful spot in Bar Harbor, on a jagged rock reaching into the Atlantic, the Abbe Museum is redefining museum practice as we know it. And, as we celebrate our 90th year, we want to thank you for your contributions to helping us inspire new learning about the Wabanaki Nations with every visit.

You have made the Abbe an essential museum. How often have you visited the Abbe not necessarily because of a new exhibit or program, but because of its importance in today’s society?  We’ve spent close to a century sponsoring research and preserving precious collections, and we are now working collaboratively with Wabanaki people to teach generations of learners about Wabanaki people, culture, history, and art. Because of that work, and thanks to your support, we are the Smithsonian’s only home in Maine.

You have made the Abbe a trusted and invaluable educational resource. Museums are considered the most trustworthy source of information in America, a more reliable source of historical information than books and teachers. At the Abbe, we've created a world full of life, art, and experiences - from the past to the present and into the future. Our education programs this year have given guests a chance to hear about the Abbe’s collections policy and the responsibilities museums have to tribal communities when it comes to collections care. Visitors have had a behind the scenes look at our contemporary collections and handled objects during a white glove curated talk around thematic Wabanaki art forms. Visitors also had a chance to learn about best practices for collaborating with Native communities. The education team has sought to break down many of the physical barriers that keep visitors from interacting with more of our collections for more one-on-one learning opportunities that are deeply tied to the Museum’s mission.

You have made the Abbe a decolonizing museum. Decolonization is the process of reversing colonialism, both politically and culturally, and it involves not only recognizing Indigenous perspectives and the ongoing colonization of Indigenous nations but the devastating effects that colonialism has on Indigenous cultures. Through collaboration with Wabanaki people, the Abbe is a space that privileges Native perspective and voice, and includes the full measure of history, ensuring truth-telling. We’re a role model and mentor for decolonizing museum practices and in the past 18 months, Abbe staff has been asked to train, talk, teach, present, and offer guidance to dozens of museums, cultural organizations, and National Parks on how the Abbe is decolonizing its museum practices. Additionally, many publication requests have come in asking us to write about our decolonization initiatives and practices to benefit the wider museum field.

You have created economic opportunities for Wabanaki Artists. Mount Desert Island’s cragged shores, woodland trails, and calming lakes inspire creativity and have lured artists to this place for generations. Wabanaki people are part of this artistic tradition, dating back thousands of years on this island. During the Rusticator era (the 1840s to 1920s), Wabanaki people helped make Bar Harbor very attractive to visitors. Simultaneously making art and selling it to visitors ensured the cultural survival of many art forms. For years, Wabanaki artists have been traveling across the country to enter the Indian Arts marketplace, repeatedly taking top prizes from Sante Fe to Phoenix to Indianapolis. Informed by Wabanaki artists about the importance of creative placemaking and how it can support both Wabanaki artistry and the local community, we are introducing a three-day juried art event, the Abbe Museum Indian Market (AMIM), in downtown Bar Harbor, debuting May 18-20, 2018. By creating this event, we will shine a bright light on Wabanaki artists and deepen the economic and cultural impact of art making for tribal communities. 

You are a changemaker. You help the Abbe touch thousands of lives each and every year. From
the 3,000 schoolchildren who visit the Museum, to the more than 80 Native artists who help with projects and exhibits, to the hours spent in a car driving to the Wabanaki communities in Maine and the Maritimes, to the invaluable time spent collaborating with Wabanaki people, your help makes it possible for us to continue to change lives through learning. Every voice matters and yours has been especially powerful in telling the Abbe’s story.   

Your contributions have helped make the Abbe Museum an essential, decolonizing, economic educational resource that’s changing museum practice across the world. Your continued support today is extremely important because it provides an immediate and meaningful impact on the day-to-day operations of the Abbe, most of which are not funded by grant opportunities. Your gift effects every facet of the Museum, from the upkeep and maintenance of galleries and other museum spaces, to community and education programs, to utilities and insurance, to staff salaries. Your gift will help make an actionable impact on providing the necessary funding to fuel these continuing efforts. Help us celebrate 90 years in 2018 by hitting our annual fund goal of $100,000!  
 

DONATE TODAY

 

Artist doodle by Geo Soctomah Neptune, Passamaquoddy. Geo is a Master Basketmaker and has always believed that you do not choose a basket, that a basket actually chooses you. When Geo weaves, they try to be mindful of the fact that the piece will one day be a home for a small piece of their spirit, and that spirit will choose to go wherever it wants. 

Friends of the Collection

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A few years ago, with the help of a generous donor, the Abbe Museum launched the Friends of the Collection Fund to help us make purchases for our permanent collection. With this support, we've been able to buy baskets by important Wabanaki Master Basketmakers like Sarah Sockbeson, Jeremy Frey, and Molly Neptune Parker. And sometimes, we've also been able to respond when interesting objects are made available by auction or by an individual seller, and we've added some of these unique items to our collections from Decontie & Brown, Gina Brooks, and James Eric Francis, Sr. In all honesty, though, our biggest hope for this fund is to be able to buy art and objects that have significance to Wabanaki people and the Abbe. So often, significant pieces are difficult to buy when they are on the open market or a collector makes the purchase before we are able to raise the funds. We are in this challenging position now. 

Passamaquoddy artist, father, husband, friend, culture-keeper, and Abbe trustee David Moses Bridges passed away earlier this year. As with any creative soul, he was working until his last days. Thanks to his widow, Patricia, we have the opportunity to purchase three pieces of birchbark art for the Abbe's permanent collection. And, with the support of David's extended family, Patricia has offered this opportunity to us first as we have the largest collection of David's work in the world and it means a great deal to hold his work in the Wabanaki homeland. Considering the Abbe Museum as their first choice, David's family wants to honor his strong commitment to this institution and its process of decolonization. We have the first right of refusal on these gorgeous pieces of art and history and we would like to exercise this right with your help. 

By making a gift today, you can help us reach our fundraising goal of $9,100 before the end of 2017. You can donate by clicking the button at the bottom below and making a gift or sending a check to the Abbe with the notation "DMB purchase" in the memo. Images and detailed descriptions of these pieces are listed below.

Update
Thanks to your generosity, we have raised half of our goal of $9,100, which means we are able to purchase one of the three pieces that David's widow, Patricia, offered! Specifically, the birchbark box that David was working on at the time of his death in January 2017 (featured first below). Thank you for making this opportunity a possibility. We couldn't have done it without you!

The Friends of the Collection is an ongoing campaign, so anyone can donate at any time. Thank you for being a friend of the collection!  
 

Donate today

BIRCHBARK BOX, 2016
Birchbark, spruce root
14" diameter x 11" high
Purchase price: $4,800

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This box is the last one created by David before his death in January 2017. It remains unfinished on the lashings on the top, and yet is still so beautiful. David chose to leave the bark on this piece undecorated so that people could more fully appreciate the natural beauty of the bark.


BOX, 2014
Birchbark, spruce root
10" diameter x 8 1/2" high
Purchase price: $4,000

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This etched box so vividly reflects David's artistic hand. The double-curves are distinctive, David's own interpretation of this traditional Wabanaki symbol. It is fully decorated inside and out, with the inside of the cover and both the inside and outside of the bottom of the piece elaborately etched. This piece was included in the Peabody Essex Museum exhibit Branching Out: Trees as Art from September 2014 to September 2015.


KNIFE SHEATH, 2016
irchbark, spruce root, ash
12" long
Purchase price: $300

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In his last years, David was exploring new shapes and designs for his art pieces. In this context, he made this sheath to carry his knife, a wonderful example of how art and function come together in David's work and in Wabanaki use of birchbark. The sturdy bark is a full 1/8" thick.

Thank you for being a friend of the collection!

Launch of the Archaeological Advisory Committee

 From left to right, back row: Larry Zimmerman, Gabe Hrynick, Dave Putnam, Darren Ranco, Isaac St. John, Paulette Steeves, Kristen Barnett, Lynne Dominy, Rebecca Cole-Will, Bonnie Newsom, Stephen Loring. From left to right, front row: Cinnamon Catlin-Legutko, Chris Sockalexis, Jennifer Talken-Spaulding, David Goldstein, Starr Kelly, Natalie Dana, Cassandra Dana, Julia Gray, Jennifer Pictou. 

From left to right, back row: Larry Zimmerman, Gabe Hrynick, Dave Putnam, Darren Ranco, Isaac St. John, Paulette Steeves, Kristen Barnett, Lynne Dominy, Rebecca Cole-Will, Bonnie Newsom, Stephen Loring. From left to right, front row: Cinnamon Catlin-Legutko, Chris Sockalexis, Jennifer Talken-Spaulding, David Goldstein, Starr Kelly, Natalie Dana, Cassandra Dana, Julia Gray, Jennifer Pictou. 


The first convening of our newly created Archaeological Advisory Committee was held earlier this week at the Museum. The group of 20 included Indigenous archaeologists, anthropologists, and historians from the Wabanaki Nations and beyond, along with non-Native archaeologists, educators, and leadership from the Abbe and the National Park Service. With the long-term goal of helping the Abbe re-envision our role in archaeology in the Wabanaki homeland, the group tackled topics from community archaeology to building capacity, from education to heritage protection, all through the lenses of decolonizing practice and Indigenous archaeologies. Members of the committee will continue to work in smaller groups to further develop and implement the ideas generated this week.

The full list of committee members is:

Patricia Ayala Rocabado, independent scholar
Kristen Barnett, Unangan, Bates College
Cinnamon Catlin-Legutko, Abbe Museum
Rebecca Cole-Will, Acadia National Park
Cassandra Dana, Passamaquoddy Tribe  
Natalie Dana, Passamaquoddy Tribe
Lynne Dominy, Acadia National Park
David J. Goldstein, National Park Service
Julia Gray, Abbe Museum
Gabe Hrynick, University of New Brunswick
Starr Kelly, Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg, Abbe Museum
Stephen Loring, Smithsonian Institution
Bonnie Newsom, Penobscot, University of Maine
Jennifer Pictou, Aroostook Band of Micmacs
David Putnam, University of Maine, Presque Isle
Darren Ranco, Penobscot, University of Maine
Chris Sockalexis, Penobscot Nation
Donald Soctomah, Passamaquoddy Tribe
Isaac St. John, Houlton Band of Maliseet Indians
Paulette Steeves, First Nations Cree- Metis, Mount Allison University, New Brunswick
Jennifer Talken-Spaulding, National Park Service
Larry Zimmerman, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis

On Sunday, November 5th, a panel that consisted of four of the committee members took place at the Abbe, officially kicking things off for the week. The crowd of 30 interacted with panelists about the future of archaeology and what is exciting and new in the field.

 
 From left to right:Jennifer Pictou (Micmac), Chris Sockalexis (Penobscot), Starr Kelly (Algonquin), Darren Ranco (Penobscot), Paulette Steeves (First Nations Cree- Metis), Kristen Barnett (Unangan), Bonnie Newsom (Penobscot), Isaac St. John (Maliseet), Natalie Dana (Passamaquoddy), Cassandra Dana (Passamaquoddy)

From left to right:Jennifer Pictou (Micmac), Chris Sockalexis (Penobscot), Starr Kelly (Algonquin), Darren Ranco (Penobscot), Paulette Steeves (First Nations Cree- Metis), Kristen Barnett (Unangan), Bonnie Newsom (Penobscot), Isaac St. John (Maliseet), Natalie Dana (Passamaquoddy), Cassandra Dana (Passamaquoddy)

Enter for a Chance to Win a Fred Tomah Basket

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This fall the Abbe Museum Shop is celebrating baskets! And we couldn’t talk about baskets without mentioning a longtime friend of the Abbe’s: Fred Tomah. 

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Fred Tomah is a Master Basketmaker and one of the only Maliseet basketmakers in Maine. He has been making brown ash baskets for nearly 35 years, an artform that was passed down to him by his ancestors (who learned it from their ancestors). Interwoven into this long-standing history is a distinct style that makes each Fred Tomah basket uniquely his. You will definitely know a Fred basket when you see it! 

If you have always wanted to own a Fred Tomah basket, now is your chance! We are raffling off this beautiful black and white Mt. Katahdin weave basket. Tickets are available both in the shop and online – 1 for $2.00, 3 for $5.00, 7 for $10.00 – and you won’t want to miss out on adding this to your personal collection. The winner will be announced on November 1st, so grab your tickets today and support the Abbe as we change lives through learning!

This raffle has closed. The winner is Kathryn MacLeod from Falmouth, Maine! 


Jill Sawyer is the Abbe Museum's Advancement & Gallery Associate. She provides advancement support for the income generating activities and daily operations of the Abbe Museum and is also responsible for building and strengthening relationships with Native artists. In 2013 she spent 3 months in Manila, Philippines, evaluating the Museo Pambata’s Mobile Library Program. This experience became the foundation for her master’s thesis, which discusses the importance of advocacy and community outreach in museums.