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About the Abbe

Abbe : About

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With the mission to inspire new learning about the Wabanaki Nations with every visit, the Abbe Museum values the importance of education, research, care, and investment in our strategic and operational goals. 


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Archaeology Exhibit

Looking at an archaeology exhibit at the downtown museum location. Photo by Peter Travers.

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.


Visit the Abbe Museum's blog to read about recent events at the Abbe, the Abbe Museum in the news, and the Wabanaki in the news.


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 Community Galleryto early 20th century presentations of Native American archaeology in Maine.


Photo by Dennis Welsh

The Abbe serves as an essential resource for helping teachers and students comply with new state legislation, known as "the Wabanaki Initiative," that requires the teaching of Wabanaki cultures and history in Maine schools. As Donna Loring, former Penobscot Nation Representative to the Maine Legislature and sponsor of the Wabanaki Initiative, has written, "With education will come understanding and with understanding will come respect...." Abbe staff members serve as facilitators and advisors for statewide programs to implement the legislation.


To provide insight and ideas regarding the Abbe's strategic direction and operations, the Native Advisory Council was created and met for the first time in April 2012.  The Abbe has frequently used Native advisory groups for projects and exhibits, but this is the first standing Council group, appointed by tribal leadership, in Abbe history. Native Advisory Council Members >


In spring of 2013, the Abbe Museum was honored as the first Smithsonian Affiliate in the state of Maine. What does it mean to be a Smithsonian Affiliate?


During our June 15, 2011, Annual Meeting, Bonnie Newsom, Penobscot, shared her perspective on the Abbe Museum. Read her remarks here.


The Abbe Museum is a private, non-profit organization and our important work is made possible, in great part, through the generosity of our donors.


Read the Abbe Museum's Interpretive Framework >


Additional Links

2015 Annual Report >

2014 Annual Report >

2013 Annual Report >

2012 Annual Report >

2011 Annual Report >

2010 Annual Report >


Dial: (207) 288-3519


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