Smithsonian Affiliations is pleased to announce a new affiliate relationship with the Abbe Museum in Bar Harbor, Maine. The Abbe Museum is Maine’s first Smithsonian Affiliate, joining 177 Affiliates in 41 states, Puerto Rico and Panama, currently in association with the Smithsonian.
“Becoming a Smithsonian Affiliate will support exciting collaborations between our organizations, while dramatically expanding the Abbe Museum’s visibility in the market place and in Maine’s cultural community,” said Cinnamon Catlin-Legutko, Abbe CEO. “Collaborative projects are key to the Abbe’s strategic direction. The Smithsonian is an incredible institution with tremendous scope in reach and resources. We are thrilled to share those resources with our community and members.”
The partnership will provide the Abbe Museum access to the Smithsonian’s many resources, including its 137 million-object collections, scholarships and educational opportunities for staff, traveling exhibits and membership benefits.
“The Abbe Museum is well-recognized for its outstanding collections, first-class exhibits, professional staff and commitment to education,” said Harold A. Closter, director of Smithsonian Affiliations. “With a mission that so thoroughly matches the work of the Smithsonian, we are honored to welcome the Abbe Museum into the family of Smithsonian Affiliates and look forward to working with this impressive organization to help preserve the rich heritage of Maine and share the inspiring stories of its people.”
Collaboration with the Smithsonian is something in which the Abbe Museum already has experience. When Abbe’s downtown location opened, the museum borrowed three collection items for the exhibit “Four Molly’s: Women of the Dawn,” guest curated by Bunny McBride.
On May 23, the exhibition “IndiVisible: African-Native American Lives in the Americas” will go on display in the Abbe where it will remain through Aug. 4. “IndiVisible” was developed by the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian with the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture and organized for travel by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service.
The Abbe has long enjoyed a relationship with the National Museum of the American Indian, particularly working together in the development of educational programming.
A current Abbe Board Member, member of the Passamaquoddy tribe and renowned Native artist, David Moses Bridges, has worked extensively with the Smithsonian as a researcher, consultant and educator.
“I was very excited to learn of our relationship with the Smithsonian,” said Bridges. “I have always been impressed by the Smithsonian’s commitment to include Native people as the caretakers and interpreters of the collections they oversee. The Affiliations program allows the Abbe Museum and its visitors access to the greatest collection of Indigenous art in the world. Anyone who has stepped inside the Smithsonian will understand that the Abbe Museum’s new affiliation with the Smithsonian is surely something to be excited about.”
Established in 1996, Smithsonian Affiliations is a national outreach program that develops long-term collaborative partnerships with museums and educational and cultural organizations to enrich communities with Smithsonian artifacts, scholars, educational programs and professional-development opportunities. The long-term goal of Smithsonian Affiliations is to facilitate a two-way relationship among Smithsonian Affiliates and Smithsonian museums and research, education and outreach organizations to increase discovery, inspiration and lifelong learning in communities across America. More information about the Smithsonian Affiliations program and Affiliate activity is available at www.affiliations.si.edu.