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“Excellent exhibits.”
Review of Abbe Museum

Abbe Museum
Ranked #19 of 69 things to do in Bar Harbor
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: The Abbe Museum shares the history and culture of Maine’s Native people, collectively known as the Wabanaki (Penobscot, Passamaquoddy, Micmac, and Maliseet), and operates from two locations in Bar Harbor. At our downtown location, visitors find dynamic exhibitions and activities interspersed with spaces for quiet reflection. At the Abbe’s historic trailside museum at Sieur de Monts Spring, guests can experience early 20th century archaeological discoveries informed by 21st century science. The downtown Abbe Museum serves guests year-round, while the Sieur de Monts Spring location is open seasonally from mid-May to mid-October. Admission includes both locations. Located in an historic downtown district, we offer clean restrooms, several nearby restaurants and Bar Harbor attractions, and nearby motorcoach parking. Other amenities may be offered with notice. The History of the Abbe Museum: First opened to the public in 1928, the Abbe Museum is named for its founder, Dr. Robert Abbe, an eminent New York physician and beloved summer resident of Bar Harbor. During the 1920s, Dr. Abbe assembled a collection of early Native American artifacts found in the Frenchman Bay area which launched the museum at Sieur de Monts Spring. In 2001, we opened our second facility in a renovated historic landmark in downtown Bar Harbor. Today, the Abbe offers changing exhibitions and a robust programming schedule for all ages. Our museum shop is a destination for unique gifts and art and shipping is offered.
Warren, Maine
Level Contributor
9 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Excellent exhibits.”
Reviewed October 21, 2011

The archeological exhibit is particularly well-done; interesting to both adults and students.

Visited October 2011
Helpful?
Thank deb568
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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248 reviews from our community

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English first
Simsbury CT
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Park Abbe, yes. Downtown, no.”
Reviewed October 19, 2011

Abbe Museum in downtown Bar Harbor is very disappointing. It has little or nothing about the original inhabitants of Desert Island (the Indians) and much about the rich people who took it over. The Abbe Museum at Acadia National Park is more informative.

Visited October 2011
Helpful?
Thank marti A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cinnamon C, CEO at Abbe Museum, responded to this review, April 12, 2012
Thank you for visiting the Abbe Museum last fall. Unfortunately when you visited we were in the middle of an exhibit transition at our downtown museum location. Literally the day you visited, we were installing Twisted Path II: Contemporary Native American Art Informed by Tradition which features the work of five Wabanaki artists and the exhibit is in three out of five of the Abbe's primary exhibition spaces. I am sorry you visited at an inopportune time and I invite you to visit again, as my guest. Please contact me at cinnamon@abbemuseum.org to arrange a return visit.

I would also like to share that the exhibit that I believe you are referring to, Indians and Rusticators: Wabanakis and Summer Visitors on Mount Desert Island 1840s-1920s highlights an important time period in Wabanaki history where the tourism industry on MDI was developing and the role many Wabanakis played in its development. This involvement continues today with the annual Native American Festival that the Abbe produces, in partnership with the Maine Indian Basketmakers Alliance. This was a unique and critical time in history and I'm sorry this information didn't resonate with you.

Again, I invite you to return to the Abbe Museum and experience the variety of exhibits and programs we produce each year.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Palmetto
Level Contributor
84 reviews
29 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 64 helpful votes
“Interesting Bar Harbor history”
Reviewed October 16, 2011

We thought we were going to a native American museum. Yes, there is reference to the Wabanaki but the emphasis is on the history and impact of European descendents on Mount Desert Island. I was hoping for either how the original inhabitants lived before 1500s or how their descendents maintain their identity in the 21st century. We went to the museum in Bar Harbor only, maybe the one in the Park is more informative and interesting.

Visited September 2011
Helpful?
Thank Hauber
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cinnamon C, CEO at Abbe Museum, responded to this review, April 12, 2012
Thank you for visiting the Abbe Museum. Unfortunately when you visited we were installing a new exhibit in three out of our five exhibition spaces. Twisted Path II: Contemporary Native American Art Informed by Tradition open in October 2011 and features the work of five Wabanaki artists.

We often change exhibits and we strive to do it at times when the museum is closed to the public, but sometimes that is not possible. I invite you to return to the Abbe as my guest. Please contact me directly at cinnamon@abbemuseum.org to arrange your next visit.

The exhibit I believe you're referring to is Indians and Rusticators: Wabanakis and Summer Visitors on Mount Desert Island 1840s-1920s which highlights the role that Mount Desert Island played in the cultural and economic survival of Wabanakis. Offering a focused look at the seasonal interactions of Wabanakis and summer rusticators (summer residents from the large urban areas of the Northeast), it profiles various personalities, especially the iconic
Penobscot Indian showman Frank “Big Thunder” Loring, whose unforgettable presence on Mount Desert Island spanned 60 years of the Rusticator Era.

Again, I am sorry your visit coincided with an exhibit installation and I invite you to visit again.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tahlequah, Oklahoma
Level Contributor
64 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
“Nice little museum!”
Reviewed August 25, 2011

We visited the museum that is located in downtown Bar Harbor area. Nice little museum. The staff was friendly and full of knowledge. Although there was a little remodeling going on, it was a very pleasant visit. A added bonus while walking around downtown.

Visited June 2011
Helpful?
Thank Valorie H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Harrisville, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
19 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Tucked away in Acadia National Park”
Reviewed August 10, 2011

This little museum, featuring artifacts and art work of Indigenous Natives was full of surprises. I almost missed it! The history recorded and viewed here, provided insight and knowledge of little known tribes still residing in the region. I splurged on a wonderful birch bark effigy by artist Aron Griffith, but worth it as it will go into my collection of the very skilled artistry of many other North American Native artists, The sweet grass smell, and forest imagery remains one of my most treasured memories of the great state of Maine. Take it in!

Visited August 2011
Helpful?
1 Thank ninetoesjo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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