The Abbe Museum was founded in 1926 and first opened to the public in 1928. The museum is named for its founder, Dr. Robert Abbe (1851-1928), an New York physician known for his pioneering use of radiation therapy.
A summer resident of Bar Harbor, during the 1920s Dr. Abbe assembled a collection of early Native American artifacts found in the Frenchman Bay area and persuaded other collectors to join him in establishing a museum.
Early supporters included George B. Dorr, “the father of Acadia,” and John D. Rockefeller Jr. The museum opened as a private museum at Sieur de Monts Spring in Lafayette National Park (later renamed Acadia National Park) on August 14, 1928. It was dedicated to the memory of Dr. Abbe, who had died in March.
The Abbe offers exhibitions and programs on Maine’s Native American heritage. In recent years, the Abbe has grown from a small trail-side museum, privately operated within Acadia National Park, to a contemporary museum in the heart of downtown Bar Harbor.
Selected Abbe Museum images: