Opening Soon!

In two weeks the Abbe Museum at Sieur de Monts Spring will be open for the 2013 season!

Starting on Thursday, May 23 both locations of the Abbe Museum, both at Sieur de Monts and in downtown Bar Harbor, will be open from 10-5, seven days a week.

As we open the doors to guests that day, both Museums will boast new exhibitions.  For the first time in years, a new exhibit will be on display at the Abbe Museum at Sieur de Monts, which was renovated over the winter to create additional exhibit space and areas for hands-on, interactive activities for children and families.

Illustration by Francis Back, courtesy US NPS/St Croix
Island International Historic Site
The story of St. Sauveur: A Meeting of Nations begins in 1613, when a small group of French Jesuits, sailors, and settlers arrived at Mount Desert Island, looking for a place to establish a mission and build trade relations with the Wabanaki.  At the urging of Wabanaki leader Asticou, the group chose a spot somewhere around Frenchman Bay to establish their new outpost.  Less than three months later, the fledgling settlement was destroyed by English colonists from further south.  Echos of these encounters continue to resound today, in Wabanaki communities, in shaping Maine history and identity, and in our understanding of international relations. 

The first European residents of Frenchman Bay came and went in a very short time.  But this episode is part of a much larger story of Wabanaki-French-English interactions in eastern Maine from 1500 until 1762, when English settlers finally established a permanent settlement on Mount Desert Island.  The exhibit brings together current Wabanaki perspectives and historic documents to present multiple perspectives on history, and investigates the debate among historians and archaeologists about where the St. Sauveur Mission was actually located.

Also on Thursday, May 23, the Abbe Museum in downtown Bar Harbor will open a new exhibit, IndiVisible: African-Native American Lives in the Americas, on loan from the Smithsonian Institution.  IndiVisible explores historical and contemporary stories of peoples and communities whose shared histories are woven into the fabric of American identity, but whose presence has long been invisible to many in the U.S.  The exhibition sheds light on the dynamics of race, community, culture and creativity, and addresses the human desire to belong.  With compelling text and powerful graphics, the exhibition includes accounts of cultural integration and diffusion as well as the struggle to define and preserve identity.  IndiVisible was developed by the National Museum of the American Indian with the National Museum of African American History and Culture, and organized for travel by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service.  But make sure to visit soon, because IndiVisible will only be in Bar Harbor from May 23 - August 4, before traveling on to its next location.

Click here to visit IndiVisible on the web.

Click here to learn about the other exhibits currently on view.

Click here to learn about special programs that accompany our current exhibits.