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Built in 1876, the Log Hotel is original to the museum's site and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Beginning Friday, May 24, it will host Sonic Hotel: Lost and Found Sounds of the Adirondacks, a new exhibition of audio sculptures created by New York City sound artist John Morton from quintessential Adirondack sounds, both historical and modern. (Photo submitted)

This sign is from the Land of Makebelieve theme park in Upper Jay. When he closed his innovative and much-loved attraction in 1979, Arto Monaco saved many of its elements, and many are now on display in the museum's new Arto Monaco and the Land of Makebelieve display. (Photo submitted)

An Egyptian tent was used at the Adirondack League Club near Old Forge. In the museum's new exhibition, Gone Camping: Outfitting the Adirondack Campsite, half of a circular tent, made in Cairo with Egyptian motifs, provides a window on luxury camping ca. 1907. (Photo submitted)


Adirondack Museum opens jam-packed season May 23

Sunday, May 18, 2014 - Updated: 9:04 AM

BLUE MT. LAKE -- When the Adirondack Museum opens for its 57th season Friday, May 23, visitors will find the 32-acre campus hopping like a spring peeper, with several new exhibitions, programs, family activities and events in addition to the classic favorites.

The museum invites year-round residents of the Adirondack Park to visit free of charge every Sunday during the open season, and every day the museum is open in May and October. Proof of year-round residency, such as a driver's license, passport, or voter registration card, is required.

The museum is open daily, including holidays, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, May 23, through Monday, Oct. 13 (Columbus Day).


For the first time ever, all seven upstairs and downstairs rooms of the museum's 1876 hotel building are open to the public this season, enhanced with a new audio art exhibition called Sonic Hotel: Lost and Found Sounds of the Adirondacks that was created by New York City sound artist John Morton, who has a camp in Piseco.

This immersive sound installation combines oral histories, field recordings of animals and people in the wilderness, music and other sounds that are manipulated, layered and juxtaposed by digital technologies.

As visitors walk through each room of this historic artifact, they hear an ever-changing symphony of sounds, an aural portrait of the Adirondacks through time.


Another new show, Gone Camping: Outfitting the Adirondack Campsite, traces the evolution of camping equipment from the 1800s through today, highlighting changes in society, their role in camping as a recreational activity, and their effect on the development of new tools and methods of enjoying the great outdoors.

This region is often thought of as the birthplace of recreational camping in the United States, jump-started by the publication of William Murray's book, "Adventures in the Wilderness," in 1869. The exhibition's historic Adirondack artifacts and modern equipment help paint a picture of how backpacks, clothing, tents, cookware, accessories and other items have changed since that time nearly 150 years ago.


A small new exhibition called Arto Monaco and the Land of Makebelieve provides a walk down memory lane for anyone who visited the Land of Makebelieve in Upper Jay, one of the world's first theme parks.

The display features personal effects from the studio and workshop of the park's multi-talented visionary, Arto Monaco, as well as many items from his Land of Makebelieve theme park, which was operational from 1954 (before Disneyland opened) until 1979.


The fourth and fifth special exhibitions this season are Traveling with Stoddard, which explores the work of the Adirondacks' most prolific photographer, Seneca Ray Stoddard, including many photographs, maps, sketches and guidebooks never displayed before; and Great Wilderness, Great Expectations: Masterworks from the Adirondack Museum, a fine-art exhibition examining how the Adirondack landscape has been portrayed over the past two centuries by artists such as Thomas Cole, Nathan Farb, John Frederick Kensett, William Trost Richards, Harold Weston and many others.


There's always a lot for children and grandchildren to do at the museum, including The Great Outdoors, a hands-on exhibition all about outdoor sports; a child-sized pioneer homestead with cabin, woodshed and washing yard; a one-room schoolhouse with classic indoor and outdoor games; and much more.

This season, an additional activity for families is the new Kids' Audio Tour that can be accessed from adults' mobile phones, featuring stories from locals describing artifacts in different exhibitions and sharing why they love living in the Adirondack Park.

Another new addition to the family lineup is the Children's Makebelieve Puppet Theatre, where kids can make the animals talk, design their own make-believe stories and put on a show for the grown-ups in a rustic theatre inspired by Arto Monaco's design aesthetic and his philosophy about children learning through play.


In July and August the museum will offer extended hours during the new Museum Monday Nights, with exhibitions and grounds open until 8 p.m. and picnics encouraged. Dinner options will be available.

The museum's ongoing Monday Evening Lecture Series will also be a featured component on these evenings, with lectures in the Museum Auditorium at 7:30 p.m. each Monday in July and August.

Also during July and August, there will be a new Artisan-in-Residence program, with a different craftsman each week demonstrating skills such as woodcarving or stonework Monday through Wednesday. In conjunction, the popular Artist-in-Residence program will return this season, with artists painting in different media while talking with visitors each Thursday through Sunday.


Saturday, July 19, the new Made in the Adirondacks fair will debut at the museum, produced in association with the Adirondack North Country Association and Traditional Arts of Upstate New York.

The event will feature local producers of art, clothing, crafts, food, household furnishings and much more, offering their wares and discussing the techniques, methods, traditions, and stories underlying their creation.

In addition, the fair will include performances of traditional songs and stories that have also been made in the Adirondacks.

Smokey Bear's 70th birthday will be celebrated at the museum Saturday, Aug. 9, with the birthday guest himself, music, hands-on family programs, birthday cake and more.


Other special events at the museum this season include:

_ Museum Benefit Gala and Harold K. Hochschild Award Ceremony Saturday, July 26;

_ American Mountain Men Encampment Friday and Saturday, Aug. 15 and 16;

_ Hidden History behind-the-scenes tours of the museum's collections Friday, Sept. 12, and Friday, Sept. 19;

_ 27th Annual Rustic Furniture Fair Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 13 and 14;

_ Antiques Show and Sale Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 20 and 21, (concurrent with the Adirondack Mountains Antiques Show in the nearby hamlet of Indian Lake); and

_ Fall Fest and Fiber Arts Fair Saturday, Oct. 4.

Additional information about museum exhibitions, programs, special events and membership is available on the museum's website and Facebook page.


The Adirondack Museum re-opens for the season Friday, May 23. It will be open seven days a week, including holidays, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. through Monday, Oct. 13 (Columbus Day).

The museum will close early, at 3 p.m., Friday, Sept. 12, to prepare for the 27th Annual Rustic Furniture Fair. The museum will be closed to the public Friday, Sept. 19, to prepare for the Antiques Show and Sale. On both those days Hidden History behind-the-scenes tours of museum collections will be offered.


The Adirondack Museum, accredited by the American Association of Museums, shares the history and culture of the Adirondack region in 24 historic and contemporary buildings on a 32-acre campus in the Central Adirondacks and in free programs at schools throughout these North Country counties: Clinton, Essex, Franklin, Fulton, Hamilton, Herkimer, Lewis, Oneida, Saratoga, St. Lawrence, Warren and Washington.

The museum is supported in part with donations from the general public and some general operating support from the New York State Council on the Arts.

For additional information call (518) 352-7311 or visit


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