On Friday, May 26, the newly renamed Adirondack Experience, The Museum on Blue Mountain Lake will open for its 60th season. A new Life in the Adirondacks exhibition, an interactive Jefferson Project at Lake George exhibition, new dining options presented by Well Dressed Food, and a pumpkin festival will join the museum’s regular schedule of fairs, special events, workshops, and artisans-in-residence programs.
With a grand opening set for Saturday, July 1, museum officials are calling the Life in the Adirondacks exhibit “the most ambitious new exhibition in the museum’s history.” It occupies the former Roads and Rails building, where the 19,000-square-foot, $8-million interactive exhibit is expected to serve the starting point for visitors.
The Life in the Adirondacks exhibit includes:
A life-sized log-drive activity that gives visitors the opportunity to test their skills at breaking up a virtual log jam;
A large walk-on map of the Adirondack Park;
The opportunity to sit in an Adirondack guide boat, and learn to row it during a virtual journey;
The story of the Mohawk and Abenaki tribes, explored using a language learning station, video interviews, music, and artifacts; and
An area dedicated to the story of mining, including a mine-blasting activity for kids.
A collaboration between Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, IBM Research and The FUND for Lake George, The Jefferson Project at Lake George is dedicated to using technology and science to preserve and protect the Queen of American Lakes. A new exhibition, consisting of a video wall and interactive tower in the Our Adirondack Park gallery, will introduce the Jefferson Project’s large-scale monitoring effort and spotlight its cutting-edge research in the Adirondacks.
Well Dressed Food at the Lake View Café will be newly operated by The Well Dressed Food Company of Tupper Lake. With expanded seating, the restaurant will offer a full espresso bar and all-new gourmet menu, including artisan sandwiches and panini, soups and salads, burger and naan flatbread pizzas, as well as breakfast items, snacks, smoothies and a kids’ menu. For the first time, the café will sell a selection of domestic, imported, craft and premium beers; red and white wines; ciders; and hard sodas. Additionally, the Well Dressed Food Kiosk, located near the Visitor Center, will offer a limited menu.
For four decades, Anne LaBastille (1933-2011) – author, protector of nature, first female professor in Cornell University’s Department of Natural Resource – lived with her German Shepherds in West of the Wind, her cabin on Twitchell Lake near Old Forge, without plumbing or electricity. Visitors will be able to peer through the windows of the iconic cabin and see the artifacts of her life. A touchscreen will allow visitors to explore the inside of the cabin digitally, learning about her life through the things she left behind. LaBastille’s legacy will be celebrated on LaBastille Day, July 10, with a schedule of special lectures and activities.
Visitors may view the museum’s new exhibitions “Fresh Perspectives: Recent Art Acquisitions,” including a major painting by Levi Wells Prentice, and “Telling Tales: Recent Acquisitions”; returning special exhibition “Feathered Friends: Birder’s Byway”; and permanent exhibitions – “Bull Cottage: Rustic Adirondack Furniture,” “Boats & Boating in the Adirondacks,” “Woods and Waters: Outdoor Recreation in the Adirondacks,” “The Log Hotel: Hotels, Camps and Adirondack Clubs,” “Work in the Woods: Logging the Adirondacks,” “The Buck Lake Club: An Adirondack Hunting Camp” and “The Great Outdoors.”
At the fourth annual Made in the Adirondacks Fair on July 22 more than 50 regional vendors will blanket the campus to offer traditional and contemporary arts, crafts, foodstuffs, performances, demonstrations and workshops.
On Sepember 9 and 10, the 30th Annual Rustic Furniture Fair will draw more than 40 dealers from all over the U.S. to offer unique interpretations of classic and contemporary rustic art, including handcrafted furniture, furnishings and Adirondack paintings, including one-of-a-kind and custom-made pieces. The September 16 Antiques Show and Sale Benefit Preview will feature 50 dealers from across the U.S. offering furniture, historical fine art, rare books, antique sporting goods, militaria, folk art, vintage boats, taxidermy, quilts, Oriental rugs, Indigenous jewelry and crafts, and more. The Antiques Show and Sale Benefit Preview on September 15 will afford the opportunity to browse and shop early while enjoying cocktails and hors d’oeuvres.
The museum’s annual Veteran Appreciation Day will be held on July 8. Veterans with proof of residency in one the 12 Adirondack counties will enjoy free admission with a guest. At the 2017 Benefit Gala & Harold K. Hochschild Award Presentation on the evening of July 29, the museum will honor the Jefferson Project. On August 5, rewind to the ‘50s when the museum first opened for the 60th Anniversary Celebration and Music featuring musical acts of multiple genres, a dance party, costume contest, hula hoop workshop, photo booth, presentations, and more. Visitors can discover life in the wilderness in the 1820s-1840s when the American Mountain Men return August 11-12 to showcase a variety of survival skills. PumpkinPalooza – a brand-new month-long event comprising pumpkin painting, paper lanterns and trick-or-treating will kick off Ocober 1.
Workshops give visitors hands-on experience as well as an Adirondack keepsake. Visitors can craft cherry paddles under the direction of Tremolo Paddles’ Caleb Davis in a one-day Traditional Canoe & Double-Bladed Paddle Making workshop, 9 am t0 5 pm on July 6, 16, 21 and 28; August 4, 11, 18 and 25; and August 31.
Visitors can create their own Adirondack scene in BreAnne Dale in Thirsty Painter Workshops, 4 to 7 pm on July 10 and 31, and Aug. 14 and 28. Using the museum collection as inspiration, Marilyn McCabe will lead participants through a series of writing exercises calling on imagination, response, memory and play in Word as Eye: Creative Writing in Response to Visual Art on July 15 from 1 to 4:30 pm. Louisa Wright will lead visitors in creating decorative Inked Art Tiles for their home or camp on July 17 from 4-7 p.m. Additional workshops include Adult Packbasket Workshop with Shea Carr on July 19 and Aug. 24, Iroquois Pinch Pot Workshop with Natasha Smoke Santiago on Aug. 3, and Painting an Adirondack Landscape with Robert Stump on Aug. 4.
The museum’s Artisans-in-Residence program gives visitors a window into a range of traditional Adirondack crafts. Allison Warner demonstrates Boat Building of Adirondack guide boats throughout the season. Indigenous artisans are featured every Friday through Monday, June 30 to Aug. 28, including Mohawk Pottery and Contemporary Art with Natasha Smoke Santiago, June 30 to July 3 and Aug. 4 to 7; Mohawk Fancy Baskets with Carrie Hill, July 7 to 10 and 14 to 17, with Robin Lazore, July 21 to 24, and with Sheila Ransom, Aug. 11 to 14; Mohawk Beadwork with Wilma Cook Zumpano, July 28 to 31; and Abenaki Art and Ceramics with Diane Cubit, Aug. 25 to 28. Additional artisans are showcased every Tuesday through Thursday, July 4 to Aug. 31, including Stone Work with Matthew Gregson, July 11 to 13; Adirondack Art with Robert Stump, Aug. 1 to 4; Bamboo Fly Rods with Doug Moody, also Aug. 1 to 4; and Quilting and Fiber Arts with Northern Needles, Aug. 15 to 17.
Visitors are invited to investigate the museum’s campus with new nature walks. Thematic Campus Explorations With Ed Kanze, naturalist and Adirondack Guide, will be held at 11 am and 1 pm on July 6 and 20; Aug. 3, 17 and 3; and Sept. 14 and 28. During Contemplative Walks With Carolee Berg, visitors will learn and practice different ways of walking to relax, reduce stress and stimulate spirituality at 11 am on July 13 and 27, Aug. 10 and 24, and Sept. 7 and 21. Self-Guided Hikes to Minnow Pond, along a three-quarter-mile scenic trail terminating at the 100-acre archetypal Adirondack pond, are available daily July 1 to Sept. 15. All dates and time are weather-dependent.
Adirondack Museum members enjoy members-only events and privileges throughout the season, including exclusive previews of the “Life in the Adirondacks” exhibition June 25-30, and Member Appreciation Days on July 15 and Aug. 19. Memberships are available starting at $40 annually. More information is available online.
Daily admission is $20 for adults (18-64); $18 for seniors (65 and over); $12 for youths (6-17) and students with a valid student ID; and free for children five and under, active military personnel and members. All paid admissions are good for a second visit within seven days. Year-round residents of the Adirondack Park are admitted free on the second and fourth Sundays of June, July and August with proof-of-residency. Workshops and certain events require an additional fee.
For more information, visit the Museum’s website.
Dates and times are subject to change; call (518) 352-7311 prior to visiting to confirm.