Friday, July 31, 2015

Birchbark Wikuwam Demo with David Moses Bridges

David Moses Bridges, Passamaquoddy, has spent the past three days out at Sieur de Monts in Acadia National Park reconstructing a traditional wikuwam. David is an award winning birchbark artist who has received national recognition for his work. From splitting spruce root to collecting birchbark, David has spent the past few days demonstrating his craft to more than 750 visitors, sharing stories of his childhood and career as an artist, and answering questions about this labor intensive process.




This program is part of the Cultural Connections in the Park series, which happen throughout the summer in and around Acadia National Park. All of these programs are sponsored by Dawnland, LLC, are offered in partnership with Acadia National Park, and are free and open to the public.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Abbe Museum Receives Grant to Lower Energy Costs

The Abbe Museum recently received a grant from Grants to Green Maine to provide an energy efficiency audit for the Abbe’s historic downtown Bar Harbor location. This grant complements the Museum’s Greening the Abbe Initiative, and the near completion of the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) funded projects that have helped reduce the Abbe's carbon footprint and operating costs.
“The Grants to Green Maine grant will enable the Abbe to complete an energy efficiency audit of our building and provide a report with priorities for energy efficiency improvements,” said Abbe Museum President/CEO Cinnamon Catlin-Legutko. “Higher heating bills have decreased the amount of money we can put towards our mission of preserving and exhibiting the regional history of the area and it is important to make our building more efficient, which will in turn make our organization more sustainable.”
The Greening the Abbe initiative was launched in 2012 with the over-arching goal to make the Abbe environmentally responsible and sustainable. Thanks to 43 generous donors and a grant from the NEH, funds were contributed to “Green the Abbe Museum” in three phases, and efforts immediately resulted in lowering energy consumption by 20%, saving about $500 per month. Greening initiatives included:

  • Replacement of the system control software that regulates the heating and cooling in the Abbe Museum downtown. 
  • Installed ultraviolet filters in one of the Museum’s galleries, which now allows use of this space for exhibits.
  • The Abbe’s 2013 exhibit, Wabanaki Guides, was built with 80% of materials from a prior exhibit, 10% was repurposed to improve storage organization in the exhibit prep space, and 2% was recycled, leaving only 8% for disposal.
  • High wattage incandescent lighting in the Abbe’s Main Gallery was replaced with efficient LED lighting that not only means substantial electricity savings, but is also safer for the fragile objects on exhibit and provides a better quality of lighting.
  • A shift from printed material to electronic communications with our members and the community wherever possible, to reduce the use of paper.

The Abbe Museum’s downtown Bar Harbor location at 26 Mount Desert Street is an 1893 landmark. In 1997, the Abbe purchased the former YMCA building and renovated and expanded it to create a 17,000-square-foot museum with spacious exhibition galleries, indoor and outdoor program spaces, a research lab, and state-of-the-art collections storage.

Interested in supporting the Greening the Abbe campaign? Contact Heather Anderson, director of advancement at (207) 288-3519 or by email at

About Grants to Green Maine
Grants to Green Maine provides environmentally focused knowledge and funding to strengthen nonprofits located in historic buildings in downtowns in Maine. Grants to Green Maine is a partnership between the Maine Development Foundation’s Maine Downtown Center, Efficiency Maine and the Maine Community Foundation, and is funded by Kendeda Fund of The Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta.

About the Abbe Museum
The mission of the Abbe Museum, now Maine’s first Smithsonian Affiliate, is to inspire new learning about the Wabanaki Nations with every visit. The Abbe has a collection of over 50,000 archaeological, historic and contemporary objects including stone and bone tools, pottery, beadwork, carved root clubs, birch bark canoes, and supporting collections of photographs, maps, and archival documents. It holds the largest and best-documented collection of Maine Native American basketry in any museum. Its collections conservation program is recognized nationally as a model for museums. The Abbe’s two locations - downtown Bar Harbor and at Sieur de Monts Spring in Acadia National Park - are now open daily from 10 am – 5 pm.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

2015 Native American Festival

It was a perfect day on Saturday, July 11th for Maine's largest gathering of Native American artists, co-hosted by the Abbe Museum, the Maine Indian Basketmakers Alliance, and College of the Atlantic. Featuring the celebrated Native arts market, Native music, dance, storytelling, craft demonstrations, and delicious food, the festival offered visitors, collectors, and gallery owners the opportunity to buy directly from the artists. For many visitors, this was a rare opportunity to meet the artists and learn about contemporary Native arts and cultures from Maine and the Maritimes.

Thanks to everyone who made this year's Festival such a huge success!

Friday, July 10, 2015

Abbe Museum Celebrates 87 Years with Annual Gathering Gala

College of the Atlantic President Darron Collins will be the Gala Auctioneer

On July 29, 2015 at 5 pm the Abbe Museum will host their signature annual fundraiser at the Bar Harbor Club. The Gathering Gala benefit dinner and auction has become a summer tradition on Mount Desert Island, celebrating the work of the Abbe Museum with an elegant evening of food and drink, friendship, and philanthropy. This year’s event will celebrate the importance of outreach – the myriad of educational experiences offered outside the Museum that further the Abbe’s mission to inspire new learning about the Wabanaki Nations – and College of the Atlantic President Darron Collins will host the live auction.
“I’m excited to be a part of the Abbe’s largest annual fundraiser,” said Collins. “The Museum is innovative in its intellectually sophisticated approach to understanding and celebrating the cultural matrix of Native Americans. Supporting the Abbe's mission benefits MDI, the Native Peoples of Maine, and Native communities all over the world.”
The silent and live auctions will feature original artworks from Native and local artists, collections of items donated by local businesses, and a variety of unique experiences. Among the more than eighty-five items available at auction that night are custom-made jewelry, hand-knit accessories and clothing, decorative paddles, Wabanaki basketry by nationally-recognized and award-winning artists, high quality artwork and photography, and much more. All artworks, items, and experiences available at auction are now on exhibit at the Abbe Museum, and can also be viewed online at

The Gathering Gala begins with cocktails and passed hors d’ouevres during the silent auction, followed with entertainment by the Burnurwurbskek Singers, a presidential-style dinner, dessert, and a live auction. The event begins at 5:00 PM, and tickets for the evening are $150 per person. To RSVP, please email the Abbe Museum at or call 207-288-3519. Absentee bidding and underwriting opportunities are also available for those who cannot attend.
“We are so grateful to the many guests, sponsors, underwriters, auction item donors, and volunteers that make this event an annual success!” said Abbe President/CEO Cinnamon Catlin-Legutko. 

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Abbe Museum and Dawnland, LLC Announce Fellowship Winners

The fellowship allows Wabanaki artists more opportunities at Indian art markets 

Dawnland, LLC General Manager Ed Noonan presents Abbe Museum President/CEO Cinnamon Catlin-Legutko with a check to support the 2015 Wabanaki Artist Fellowship.
The Abbe Museum named today its 2015 Wabanaki Artist Fellows, recognizing three exceptionally creative individuals with a track record of achievement and the potential for significant artist contributions in the future: Donna Brown (Penobscot), Ganessa Frey (Penobscot), and Emma Soctomah (Passamaquoddy). These fellowships were made possible through support from Dawnland, LLC, the concessioner in Acadia National Park.

The fellowships awarded are intended to provide support for travel, lodging, and other costs associated with exhibiting at Indian art markets in Maine and New Mexico. Soctomah and Frey will attend the 2015 Southwestern Association for Indian Art’s Santa Fe Indian Market (SWAIA), and Brown will attend the 2015 Native American Festival and Basketmakers Market.
“We are delighted to award these fellowships. Their creativity is inspiring and innovative and market participation is critical to an artist’s development and viability,” said Cinnamon Catlin-Legutko, president and CEO of the Abbe Museum. “They expand our view of what is possible, and they inspire us to apply our own talents and imagination. We hope this is the first of many fellowships we offer in the years to come.” 
Brown handcrafts jewelry and traditional beadwork made from various metals, semi-precious gemstones, and glass beads. “My work is motivated by my desire to create colorful jewelry and regalia that will be passed on to future generations. It gives me great joy to see others enjoy and wear my creations, whether for everyday wear or worn specially for traditional gatherings,” she said.

Frey, a third generation weaver, has artwork on display at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian, Dartmouth College’s Hood Museum, and the Abbe Museum. “As a parent and an artist living in an artist family, I strive to teach and encourage my entire family to chase their artistic dreams,” she said.

In the past two years, 11 year old Soctomah has placed first and second in her division at SWAIA with several different baskets: six-inch sweetgrass crisscross basket, twelve-inch wastebasket, four-inch rainbow basket, and a six-inch blue basket. “I want to be sure that basketmaking keeps going so that we don’t lose the tradition. I want to be just like my gram and teach people to make baskets and keep it going,” she said.

Each Fellow will attend the Abbe’s Annual Meeting on August 12, 2015 from 4 – 6 pm to give a demonstration. Members and friends of the Abbe are invited to attend. Please contact the Abbe at 207-288-3519 to RSVP.

About Dawnland, LLC
Dawnland, LLC operates the Jordan Pond House restaurant, including the traditional tea and popovers on the lawn overlooking Jordan Pond and the Bubbles, and retail services at Jordan Pond House, Cadillac Mountain, and Thunder Hole. Dawnland's parent company, Ortega National Parks, LLC, has more than 45 years of hospitality experience and over 16 years' experience operating concessions in the National Park Service, including at Bandelier National Monument, White Sands, Muir Woods, Carlsbad Caverns, Death Valley and Gateway National Recreation Area.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Abbe Museum Gathering Gala

The Abbe's Gathering Gala has become a summer tradition on Mount Desert Island. Every July, we celebrate the Abbe and our work with an evening of food, drink, friendship, and philanthropy, and you are invited to join us! 

This festive evening at the Bar Harbor Club begins with a silent auction, cocktails, and passed hors d'oeuvres, followed by a sit-down dinner, live auction, and entertainment. The silent and live auctions feature original works from local and Native artists, as well as a variety of other items and one-of-a-kind experiences. Our auctioneer this year will be College of the Atlantic President, Darron Collins! Visit our website for a preview of the auction items.

If you would like to make a reservation, please email this card to, mail it to Abbe Museum at PO Box 286 Mount Desert St., Bar Harbor, ME 04609, or call 
207-288-3519. We can't wait to celebrate with you in a few weeks!