Featured Collections

Healing in the Adirondacks: Medicine and Medical Practice

The Adirondack Mountains have long been thought to have healing properties. The clear, balsam-scented air; bracing winters; and outdoor sports and recreation brought health-seeking visitors as early as the first half of the 19th century. The Adirondack Experience collection reflects the history of medical care in the region, from tuberculosis sanitariums to village family doctors.

Close to Home : Amusements in the Adirondacks

Staying at home can be challenging, but in the lightly populated mountains–when neighbors are few and far between–Adirondackers take a self-sufficient approach to amusing themselves. From quiet nights in to gardening and quilting, here are a few ways they have kept busy at home.

Adirondack Hermits: Experts in Social Distancing

The Adirondack Mountains have been home to backwoods hunters who chose to leave civilization for a self-reliant life in the wilderness. Some are legendary. The Adirondack Experience celebrates the rough and tumble characters that made social distancing a way of life.

Rustic Furniture: Nature’s Art

The Adirondack Experience has the largest collection of Adirondack rustic furniture. Made by hand in the Adirondacks of natural materials, mostly trees, these artifacts represent a regional tradition of more than 150 years. Adirondack rustic has influenced furniture and interior design across the country and has become synonymous with cabin and lodge decor.

Wilderness to Warfront: The Adirondacks and World War II

The battles of World War II were fought far from the Adirondack Mountains, yet this global conflict had a profound impact on every community here. As thousands of young Adirondack men and women left home to serve their country, local businesses turned to produce war material, and households coped with rationing and blackout drills. The Adirondack Experience collection documents these stories, illuminating the struggles and ultimate triumph of a nation at war.

World War II ended in 1945–75 years ago. We honor the legacy of the Adirondack men and women who fought the war at home and abroad and shaped the world we live in today.

Adirondack Guideboats: Beauty and Utility in Action

The guideboat is one of the most important icons of Adirondack culture. It is a sleek and graceful rowboat designed for use on lakes, ponds, and rivers. The guideboat was developed in the region beginning in the 1840s. Originally used by guides for hunting and fishing, the guideboat became a popular watercraft in the region by the late 1800s and remains a prized possession even today.

What qualities make the Adirondack guideboat so special? It is fast, lightweight, and can carry a lot. This featured collection explores the history and function as well as the beauty and versatility of this extraordinary watercraft.

Adirondack Gardens: Cultivating the North Country

Long winters, late frosts, and thin soil cover can make gardening in the Adirondack Mountains a challenge. Yet Adirondack gardeners have grown their own vegetables, cultivated formal flower beds, established public parks filled with familiar and exotic plants, and even planted forests. Their creativity, perseverance, and whimsy are documented in the Adirondack Experience collection.

Transparent Views: The Adirondacks in Watercolor

The unique qualities of the Adirondack landscape–the colors of the water, the different greens of leaves and forest shadows, the luminous sky–inspire and challenge artists to capture its character. Watercolor paints offer clear, transparent color and immediacy not possible when using oils. Many artists in the Adirondacks traveled with watercolors to create small sketches they translated to larger works in oil in their home studios. Beginning in the 1860s, however, watercolor became popular in finished landscape works as well.

Painting in watercolor takes skill. The water-soluble paint is difficult to control because it is so fluid, and it can be impossible to cover up any mistakes. Many artists use it to create quick sketches, ideas for oil paintings rendered in their studios. Yet many artists have mastered the art of watercolor, preferring its clear pigment and the way the water-based paint flows on paper.

Support the Rich History
of the Adirondack Region

Support the Rich History of the Adirondack Region