UMaine museums reopen, featuring exhibits on Wabanaki basketmaking and Maine shell middens

If you’ve missed visiting UMaine museums in person these past few months, there’s good news. As reported on UMaine News, several museums affiliated with the university are reopening, with public health precautions in place.

“Tree and Tradition II,” the special exhibit in the Hudson Museum’s Merritt Gallery, explores the evolution of the ancient artform of Wabanaki basketmaking, changing attitudes to land use and access to natural resources, and threats to the artform, including climate change and the emerald ash borer.

This exhibit celebrates the 25th anniversary of the Hudson’s collaboration with the Maine Indian Basketmakers Alliance (MIBA). It features museum holdings as well as MIBA collections and research from the university’s School of Forest Resources, Native American Programs, and the Mitchell Center.

The Mitchell Center project “Mobilizing to Fight the Emerald Ash Borer” facilitated the collaborative capacity of Wabanaki basketmakers, tribes, state and federal foresters, and others to prevent, detect, and respond to the emerald ash borer, a potentially devastating invasive threat to all three species of ash (brown, green, and white) found in Maine.

The Minsky Culture Lab is the site of “Maine Threatened Shell Middens: Losing a Link to our Past.Alice Kelley, a geoarchaeologist in UMaine’s Climate Change Institute and School of Earth and Climate Sciences, curated the exhibit. Alice’s research on shell middens is part of the Mitchell Center-funded project, “Sustainability for Maine’s Coastal Cultural Heritage: Creating a Maine Midden Minder Network and Database.”

The Hudson Museum in the Collins Center for the Arts is open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday. Twenty-seven guests may be in the museum at a time. Admission is free. Guests are required to wear face coverings and follow all other health and safety guidance in UMaine facilities.