PSU Opens Museum of the White Mountains with Ceremonial Ribbon Cutting

February 18th, 2013 by blyndes

PSU's Museum of the White Mountains

Plymouth, N.H.- Plymouth State University’s Museum of the White Mountains (MWM) held a ceremonial opening February 17 with a ribbon cutting ceremony featuring N.H. Governor Maggie Hassan and N.H. 2ndDistrict Congresswoman Ann McLane Kuster. The Museum, located in a former church on Highland Street in Plymouth, will open to the public Saturday, February 23. PSU President Sara Jayne Steen said the goal is to preserve and promote the unique history, culture and environmental legacy of the region.

PSU President Sara Jayne Steen

“As the state’s northern-most public university, we want to be the premier place for teaching and research about the White Mountains,” said Steen. “The Museum’s physical and digital presence opens to the world the treasure that is the White Mountains.  We expect the Museum to play an increasingly positive role in academic programming for students and researchers and also for tourism and in regional economic development. This Museum and its programs are examples of the strong partnership between the University and its wider community to make a positive difference for New Hampshire.”

The museum will offer presentations, exhibitions and programs for researchers, students and the public. Collections will be available digitally so visitors, regardless of their location, can enjoy the Museum’s offerings.

N.H. Governor Maggie Hassan addresses the crowd at the Feb. 17 ribbon cutting of the Museum of the White Mountains

Governor Hassan said the White Mountains are one of New England’s most popular tourist destinations and the Museum will help more people learn about its history and culture.

“There’s nothing like realizing how much the past can energize and drive the future…and this concept of a new museum really speaks to that,” Hassan said. “I join with you in celebrating the opening of this Museum.”

Congresswoman Kuster noted the White Mountains have a long and rich history that future generations can learn about at the Museum.

“It’s going to be an exciting opportunity for us to share this with student groups; I can see children coming here from all over the state,” Kuster said. “It’s an extraordinary resource and I’m incredibly proud of all of the work you’ve done here…it is a treasure for all of us.”

Museum director Catherine Amidon said there will be GPS coordinates displayed next to the paintings and prints exhibited in the museum, so people can visit the actual sites where the art was created.

The Museum of the White Mountains preserves and promotes the unique history of the region.

“We’re going to be inviting people to not only look at the exhibition, but also to go out into the White Mountains and experience it for themselves,” said Amidon. “What each exhibition is about is the experience of time and space…the experience of passing through.”

Other speakers included the Reverend Ed Charest, Plymouth United Methodist Church; Mike Scala, Special Assistant to N.H. U.S. Senator Kelly Ayotte; Chuck Henderson, Special Assistant to N.H. U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen; Valerie Scarborough, Chair of the Plymouth Select Board; Ed MacKay, USNH Chancellor; and Nancy Barba, Barba and Wheelock Architecture. Tom Wagner, White Mountain National Forest Supervisor, then presented a century-old gold watch to the museum that was owned by the first Supervisor of the White Mountain National Forest, J.J. Fritz. For a video version of this story, click here .

The upcoming exhibition will be divided between five geographic regions: Franconia Notch, Northern Presidentials, the Summit of Mount Washington, Crawford Notch and Conway Valley.

The Museum offers free admission and during the school year will be open.

Tuesday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., Wednesday, 10 a.m. – 7 p.m., Thursday and Friday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday, Noon -5 p.m., closed Mondays.  In addition,  MWM will be closed both Monday and Tuesday during the summer.

The museum was constructed with LEED Silver standards serving as a guide.  To learn more about the Museum of the White Mountains, go here:

For more information about this release, contact Bruce Lyndes, PSU Media Relations Mgr., (603) 535-2775 or