Exploring Abbe’s collaboration to decolonization

Apr 21, 2017
Maliseet artist Gina Brooks holds her etched birchbark box, purchased for Abbe Museum's permanent collection.

Belfast — Julia Gray, director of collections and research at the Abbe Museum in Bar Harbor, will speak about the ways in which the Abbe has been building collaborative relationships with Wabanaki people and communities, leading up to the decolonization work that guides the museum today, Tuesday May 2, at 6:30 p.m. at Belfast Free Library, 106 High St.

Museums in North America have been part of the colonization process since they began collecting and interpreting Native American culture in the 18th century. Decolonizing museum practice aims to confront this fact and start to reverse the negative impacts museum have had as colonial institutions.

In this presentation, examples of collaboration through collections, exhibits and programs will be viewed though a framework of decolonizing museum practice; and connected to the broader work of decolonization in contemporary American society.

Gray has been at the Abbe Museum since 2000, when she was hired to inventory, pack and move its collections to the new downtown Bar Harbor location. She now oversees the collections and research programs at the museum; and leads the exhibit team.

To learn more about the work of decolonization at the Abbe Museum, visit abbemuseum.wordpress.com. The library program is free and open to the public. For more information, call 338-3884, ext. 10.

Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at (207) 594-4401, ext. 115; or dernest@courierpublicationsllc.com.

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