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Current and Upcoming Exhibits at the Abbe Museum

Abbe : Exhibits : Current and Upcoming Exhibits

The Abbe Museum is planning a new exhibit, and we want your ideas! Click here to complete a short survey >


Coming HomeComing Home

February 5 through December 19, 2015


From baskets to beadwork, woodcarvings to birchbark canoes, tools or artwork, objects are an important expression of Wabanaki culture. Since the arrival of the first European explorers more than 400 years ago, objects made and used by the Wabanaki have made their way into museums around the world. Coming Home features an exciting and beautiful array of material culture, selected and interpreted by Wabanaki community curators. This exhibit shares cultural and traditional knowledge, revealing a greater depth of information about the Wabanaki objects, and provides a unique opportunity to see these pieces back in the Wabanaki homeland. Learn more >


2015 Waponahki Student Art2015 Waponahki Student Art Show

May through October, 2015

A collaboration of Maine Indian Education and the Abbe Museum.


The Waponahki Student Art Show brings together a wonderful variety of art created by Passamaquoddy and Penobscot students from early childhood education through high school. Using a wide array of media, these young artists incorporate traditional beliefs and values with the modern, multi-cultural world around them.


Special thanks to K.A. McDonald Custom Picture Framing, Bar Harbor and The Craft Barn, Ellsworth.



150th Thoreau-Wabanaki Canoe Tour

150th Thoreau-Wabanaki Canoe TourPhoto by Chris SockalexisJuly through December 2014


During May 2014, an epic journey took place commemorating the travels of Henry David Thoreau and his Wabanaki Guide, Joe Polis, in the Maine Woods in July of 1857. This exhibit, created by Chris Sockalexis, Penobscot Nation Tribal Historic Preservation Officer, features photographs Chris and others took during the trip, giving a glimpse into the beauty and wild nature of the Maine Woods and the Penobscot Nation's homeland. To learn more about the 150th Thoreau-Wabanaki Canoe Tour, visit


Maine Woods DiscoverThe 150th Anniversary Thoreau-Wabanaki Tour

was organized as part of Maine Woods Discovery,

a project of the Maine Woods Consortium.




Four Directions of Wabanaki Basketry

Waponahki Student ArtOngoing


Four Directions of Wabanaki Basketry, located in our unique Circle of the Four Directions, offers a place of quiet reflection for visitors to the Museum. The exhibit features a basket from each of the Wabanaki tribal communities: the eastern basket made by a Maliseet child, the southern baskets made by Passamaquoddy women, the western basket made by a Penobscot man, and the northern basket by a Micmac elder. Visitors will also hear the creation story of Koluskap and the Ash Tree in the Penobscot, Passamaquoddy/Maliseet, and Micmac languages.


Made possible through the generosity of John and Ruth Overton.


St. Sauveur: A Meeting of Nations

Illustration by Francis Back, courtesy US NPS/St Croix Island International Historic Site

Opening May 23, 2013 at the Abbe at Sieur de Monts Spring


In 1613, 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. Echoes 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. Hands-on, interactive activities for children and families accompany the exhibit.


Learn more about St. Sauveur >

Test your Thanksgiving knowledge >



Layers of Time: Archaeology at the Abbe Museum

Taft Whale SkullOngoing

How did people live in the past?

What can we know about their lives and history from the archaeological record?


This exhibit follows archaeological research conducted by the Abbe Museum starting in 1928, and considers how excavations at various sites have tried to answer these questions. Through a combination of artifacts, images and text, you can explore the questions that were asked and what we have learned during eight decades of archaeological investigations. Layers of Time also features a variety of hands-on, interactive activities for children and families, letting visitors step into the role of the archaeologist to ask and answer intriguing questions.




Dr. Abbe's Museum


Various Artifacts

Visit the original Abbe Museum, built as a trailside museum in 1928.The exhibits focus on the archaeology of Maine and are reminiscent of the way the museum would have looked when it originally opened. See how bone and stone tools and pottery were made, explore artifacts from the museum's early collections, and find examples of artifacts from many towns around eastern Maine.


An introductory exhibit gives you a brief history of the Abbe Museum, and is complimented by a giant map of Mount Desert Island and the surrounding area, made by museum founder Robert Abbe. A visitor favorite, four dioramas depict life on Mount Desert Island before the arrival of Europeans.


The Abbe at Sieur de Monts Spring is open daily 10-5 from late May through early October.

Dial: (207) 288-3519


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