The Adirondack Museum at Blue Mountain Lake, New York will open for the 53rd season on Friday, May 28, 2010. Food and fun are on the menu this year as the museum opens a tasty new exhibit and introduces a host of activities and special events.
The Adirondack Museum extends a special invitation to year-round residents of the Adirondack Park to visit free of charge in May, June, and October. Through this offer to friends and neighbors, the museum welcomes visitors from all corners of the Park. Proof of residency is required.
The museum is open daily from May 28 through October 18, 2010. Hours are 10:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. There will be an early closing on August 13, and extended hours on August 14; the museum will close for the day on September 10. Please visit the web site www.adirondackmuseum.org for exact times and details. All paid admissions are valid for a second visit within a one-week period.
The Adirondack Museum will celebrate food, drink, and the pleasures of eating in the Adirondack Park in a new exhibition, “Let’s Eat! Adirondack Food Traditions.” The exhibit shares culinary stories and customs from Native American corn soup to contemporary Farmer’s Markets.
As the museum’s Chief Curator Laura Rice observes, “Everybody eats! It is a biological necessity, a pleasure, and a ritual. The food we eat and the way we eat it reflects our culture, our economic status, and our environment.”
Generations of residents and visitors have left their mark on Adirondack food traditions. From indigenous foods to family recipes brought from the Old World, from church potluck suppers to cooking around a campfire, food has played an important role in Adirondack life.
“Let’s Eat!” will feature nearly 300 artifacts that reflect what and how Adirondackers, from pre-contact Native peoples to today’s foodies, have eaten. The exhibition draws on the Adirondack Museum’s rich collections, including a 3,000-year-old stone bowl, a cheese press, a raisin seeder, a blue silk evening dress, and a recipe for “Tokay wine” in which potatoes are the main ingredients.
Interviews with Adirondack cooks, camp workers, guides, vacationers, and residents will provide first-person accounts of elaborate cookouts at Great Camps, maple sugaring, Prohibition, and the daily routine of a lumber camp cook.
Hand-written menus and journals provide an intimate look at food in family life. Posters advertising turkey shoots, dances, and potlucks illustrate the ways that food has served as the center of social life in small hamlets. Historic photographs depict people dining inside and out, in crowded mess halls, on picnic blankets, and seated at elegant tables.
“Let’s Eat!” will include a “Three Sister’s Garden,” newly planted on the museum campus. Native peoples throughout North America have traditionally used a wide range of farming techniques. Perhaps the best known is the inter-planting of corn, beans, and squash, a trio often referred to as the “three sisters.”
The exhibit will bring the story of food in the Adirondacks to the present day with an exploration of Farmer’s Markets, organic agriculture, and the rising interest in locally grown produce and meats.
Eating in the Adirondack Park today may be a gourmet-multi-course affair, or a simple hot dog-on-a-stick cooked over a campfire. All Adirondackers, whether year round or seasonal residents, vacationers or day-trippers, have favorite foods. The Adirondack Museum invites one and all to celebrate their favorites in “Let’s Eat!” in 2010.
“Let’s Eat! Adirondack Food Traditions” has been generously supported by the
New York Council for the Humanities.
In addition, two popular special exhibits will return for a second year. “Common Threads: 150 Years of Adirondack Quilts and Comforters” includes historic quilts from the museum’s textile collection as well as contemporary comforters, quilts, and pieced wall hangings. “A ‘Wild, Unsettled Country': Early Reflections of the Adirondacks” highlights paintings, maps, prints, and photographs that illustrate the untamed Adirondack wilderness discovered by early travelers and explorers.
Families should head for the new Little Log Cabin – open for exploration and fun this season. The pint-sized log structure is just right for “make-believe” wilderness adventures. The area surrounding the cabin has been planted with rhubarb, strawberries, horseradish, and herbs as part of “Let’s Eat!” “Mrs. Merwin’s Kitchen Garden” is located nearby.
The museum will offer a full schedule of lectures, field trips, family activities, hands-on experiences, and special events to delight and engage visitors of all ages. “Let’s Eat!” events include “Picnic in the Park” planned for July 10, “The Adirondacks Are Cookin’ Out!” – a tribute to food prepared with smoke and fire – on July 29, and Harvest Festival, October 2 & 3, 2010.
The Adirondack Museum tells stories of the people – past and present — who have lived, worked, and played in the unique place that is the Adirondack Park. History is in our nature. The museum is supported in part by public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, a State Agency. For information about all that the museum has to offer, please call (518) 352-7311, or visit www.adirondackmuseum.org.