BLUE MOUNTAIN LAKE - Spring has arrived and The Adirondack Museum will open for its 53rd season on Friday, May 28.
The museum will continue its traditional dedication to appealing to year-round residents of the Adirondack Park. They will extend a special invitation to year-round residents of the Adirondack Park to visit free of charge in May, June, and October. Proof of residency is required.
"We want year-round residents of the park to feel welcome here," said marketing director Susan Dineen. "Friends and neighbors from all corners of the park are welcome.
Food and fun are on the menu this year as the museum opens a tasty new exhibit celebrating food, drink, and the pleasures of eating in the Adirondack Park called, "Let's Eat! Adirondack Food Traditions." The exhibit shares culinary stories and customs from Native American corn soup to contemporary Farmer's Markets.
"Everybody eats! It is a biological necessity, a pleasure, and a ritual," said chief curator Laura Rice. "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.
"Let's Eat!" will also 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," said Dineen.
"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.
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, Oct. 2 & 3, 2010.
For information about all that the museum has to offer, please call 352-7311, or visit www.adirondackmuseum.org.