Profile Type: Cultural Nonprofit
Cultural Nonprofit
Abbe Museum

The Abbe Museum’s mission is to inspire new learning about the Wabanaki Nations with every visit. This is a decolonizing museum, actively engaging Wabanaki people in all aspects of the Museum, from curatorial roles to policy-making.

The Abbe operates two facilities on Mount Desert Island. The original is a small trailside museum located in Acadia National Park (the only privately-owned and operated trailside museum remaining in a National Park; it is not subsidized by the Park). The second is a modern facility in a renovated historic landmark. It opened in downtown Bar Harbor in 2001, and offers larger exhibition spaces, collections storage, programming and meeting spaces, and staff offices. The Abbe offers changing exhibitions and a robust programming schedule for all ages, welcoming 30,000 visitors each year. The museum is an active member of the International Coalition for the Sites of Conscience and an involved community anchor. In 2013, the Abbe became the only Smithsonian Affiliate in Maine.

The Museum is named for founder Dr. Robert Abbe, an eminent New York physician and summer resident of Bar Harbor who assembled a collection of early Native American artifacts found in the Frenchman Bay area for a museum in present day Acadia National Park in 1928. That year the Abbe became the first institution in Maine to sponsor archaeological research, later expanding its work throughout Maine. Today, the Museum is the main repository for archaeological collections from the Midcoast region and holds the largest, best-documented collection of Maine Indian basketry in the Northeast. The collections represent 10,000 years of Native American culture and history in Maine, and the collections care program is recognized nationally as a model for museums.

We engage visitors through programs, educational outreach, and partnerships with the five Wabanaki tribes (Penobscot, Passamaquoddy, Micmac, Maliseet, and Abenaki), Acadia National Park, and other regional and statewide organizations. These all represent multiple audiences and communities, including international visitors and those from across the country. Personal interactions with Wabanaki artists enhance the visitor experience–they are looking for personal connections and interactions, and the more that can be folded into interpretation, the more satisfied our visitors are. Annually, we hire over 30 Native artists and demonstrators to lead programs for schools and public audiences, and serve on advisory committees and as content specialists. We represent over 80 Native artists in our shops, making us an economic engine for tribal communities.

I Have Worked With

  • January 2017

    Dawn Spears is a producer for the Abbe Museum Indian Market.

  • Sharing of collections and knowledge between organizations.

  • Sarah is an Abbe trustee and has delivered educational programs for many years. In addition we sell her basketry in the Abbe shop.


  • Cultural Nonprofit

Contact Information

First Name: 
Job Title/Position: 
Director of Advancement
Mailing Address: 
PO BOX 286
Physical Address: 
26 Mount Desert St.
Bar Harbor, ME 04609
Last Name: 


Profile Type: 
Cultural Nonprofit
Primary Discipline: 
Humanities - History
Additional Disciplines: 
Humanities - Anthropology
Humanities - Archeology
Visual/Crafts - General
Year Founded: 
Populations Served: 
General Public
Native American Tribes
People with Disabilities
School Groups
Institution/Business Type: 
Museums - Other
Activities and Services: 
Art Sales
Artist Market
Arts for Social Change / Creative Activism
Community Arts
Consulting - Curatorial Services
Consulting - Organizational Capacity
Curriculum Development
Film Showings
Marketing Services
Performance / Concert / Reading
Professional Development / Training
Public Art Projects (In Free, Public Spaces)
Social Media Services
Venue Rental
Wedding / Parties / Private Gatherings
Workshops / Demonstrations / Master Class
Events Per Year: 
Seasons Active: 
Geographic Reach: 
Town / City
Multi-County Region
Multi-State Region

Affiliations and Accomplishments

Professional Associations: 
International Coalition for the Sites of Conscience
Smithsonian Affiliations
American Alliance of Museums
American Association for State and Local History
New England Museums Association
Maine Association of Archives and Museums
Maine Association of Nonprofits

Accessibility of Services

Access accommodations for people who use a wheelchair and have limited mobility
Access accommodations for people who are blind, partially sighted, and have low vision