From the initial focus on archaeology, the Abbe soon expanded its scope to include ethnographic materials from the 17th through 20th centuries. In 1931, Mary Cabot Wheelwright, founder of the Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian in Santa Fe, donated an important collection of Native American baskets and other objects. Other major basket collections have been given to the Museum, and as a result, it holds the largest and best documented collection of Maine Indian basketry. The Museum also has acquired an extensive contemporary collection documenting the continuing Wabanaki craft tradition in Maine. The Abbe's collections now represent 12,000 years of Native American culture and history in Maine, and its conservation program has been recognized nationally as a model for museums. As the collections grew, the Museum also expanded its educational role. Small exhibits on subjects such as basketmaking and the Museum's founding complemented the displays of archaeological artifacts. The Abbe also developed publications to share its scholarship with a broader audience. The Museum began collaborating with Native people and, during the 1980s and 1990s, mounted exhibitions on themes such as the birchbark art of Tomah Joseph, the role of Wabanaki basketmakers in the local tourist economy and the archaeology of the Ruth Moore site. The 70th anniversary exhibition Beads, Bones, and Ancient Stones was favorably noted in The New York Times. During recent decades, Native Americans have become increasingly involved in all aspects of the Museum, including policy-making as members of the Board of Trustees.
Our one–acre campus, which is open year round, is situated in downtown Portland, across from Monument Square. The Maine Historical Society strives to serve the entire state through its education and outreach programs and through the digital museum, Maine Memory Network. MHS is comprised of the Wadsworth–Longfellow House, the childhood home of poet Henry Wadsworth-Longfellow, Longfellow Garden, the Maine Historical Society Museum who’s original and provocative exhibitions feature art, artifacts and documents that vividly bring Maine history to life, the online digital archive of Maine Memory Network, and the Brown Research Library, the state’s most comprehensive resource for the study of Maine and New England history.
4. Pejepscot Historical Society: Joshua L. Chamberlain Museum, SkolfieldWhittier House, PHS Museum & Research Center
159 Park Row, Brunswick, ME 04011, USA
Photo by Shiry
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The Pejepscot Historical Society preserves, interprets, and promotes the rich history of Brunswick, Topsham, and Harpswell, Maine, through its collections, programs, and historic house museums. It owns and operates the Joshua L. Chamberlain Museum, the Skolfield-Whittier House, and the PHS Museum and Research Center.
The Bowdoin College Museum of Art is one of Maine's oldest museums, and one of the earliest collegiate art collections in the nation. Founded in 1811 through a bequest of James Bowdoin III, it presents world-class exhibitions year-round, in addition to displaying its own renowned collection. The Museum of Art is free and open to the public, and encourages visitors to browse, get curious, ask questions, or even just settle into a quiet place to study.
Founded in 1962, Maine Maritime Museum sits on a beautiful 20-acre campus on the banks of the Kennebec River in “The City of Ships,” Bath, Maine. The museum is dedicated to promoting an understanding and appreciation of Maine’s maritime heritage and culture. Indoors, enjoy air-conditioned galleries with exhibits and hands-on activities for all ages, including Into the Lantern: A Lighthouse Experience: a one-of-a-kind immersive exhibit that will give you the sensation of standing at the top of a lighthouse. Outdoors, stroll through the country’s only surviving shipyard to see where large wooden sailing vessels were once built. Many of the original buildings in our shipyard are preserved, giving you a glimpse into the daily lives of the Percy & Small shipbuilders. The highlight of the yard is the full-size sculpture of the schooner Wyoming, the largest wooden sailing vessel ever built in North America. Hop aboard the historic 1906 schooner Mary E to see what Maine-built vessels are like or take a cruise aboard our more modern cruise boat, Merrymeeting.
Penobscot Marine Museum recreates an historic seacoast village in Searsport, Maine. Visit the ship captain’s home furnished with beautiful antiques from China and Japan. See the heirloom vegetable garden, learn about lobster fishing, rig a ship’s mast, see E. B. White’s boat. Visit a 19th-century darkroom, step inside a camera obscura. The Museum has magnificent collections of marine paintings, scrimshaw, and boat models, one of the largest collections of historic photography in New England, and a maritime history research library. Eight of its twelve exhibit buildings are on the National Register of Historic Places. The museum is open seven days a week, Memorial Day weekend through the third weekend in October. The Museum Store and Museum Framer are open year-round. Historic photographs from the Museum’s collection may be ordered online.
The Brick Store Museum is an active, community museum focusing on local history, art and culture of the Kennebunks and our surrounding communities. The Museum’s Collections hold over 70,000 artifacts relating to regional history. This Museum is open year-round to offer rotating exhibitions, monthly educational programs and tours, historic preservation and archaeology projects, and community events. The Museum recently announced our new logo to represent our community mission of past, present and future. The Museum’s professional staff, volunteers and Board of Trustees look forward to seeing you soon at the Museum.
Celebrating Maine’s Role in American Art, the Farnsworth Art Museum offers a nationally recognized collection of works from many of America’s greatest artists. With 20,000 square feet of gallery space and over 10,000 works in the collection, there is always something new on view at the Farnsworth. The museum has one of the nation’s largest collections of works by sculptor Louise Nevelson. Its Wyeth Center features works of Andrew, N.C. and Jamie Wyeth. The Farnsworth’s library is also housed in its Rockland, ME, campus. Two historic buildings, the Farnsworth Homestead and the Olson House, and Julia’s Gallery for Young Artists complete the museum complex.
The Maine Mineral and Gem Museum showcases our geological history, displays renowned mineral and rock collections, provides educational opportunities for the novice and expert alike, conducts historical and geological research and is a Maine travel destination for residents and visitors. MMGM will house the finest collection of Maine minerals and gems. It will include the famous Perham Collection, viewed by generations in a local mineral store that operated for ninety years. MMGM will display one of the world’s foremost collections of extraterrestrial rocks—meteorites from Mars, the Moon and the Asteroid Belt that teach us about the origins of our Solar System.
With an extensive collection and nationally renowned exhibitions, the Portland Museum of Art is the cultural heart of Portland, Maine. The PMA boasts significant holdings of American, European, and contemporary art, as well as iconic works from Maine—highlighting the rich artistic tradition of the state and its artists. The museum brings it all to life with unparalleled programming. From special events, family activities, and community conversations to PMA Films, curator talks, and tours of the Winslow Homer Studio—it’s all happening at the PMA.
The Linda G. and Donald N. Zillman Art Museum– University of Maine is a cultural resource of the state and the University of Maine, promotes an understanding of, and engagement with, visual art through its diverse contemporary exhibitions, permanent collection focusing on works of art since 1945, and educational programming.