From 1964 to 1986, most of the objects in the Acadian Museum’s collection were on display. They were grouped by themes and the walls were used to display the beautiful collection of charcoal portraits of the early Acadians of Prince Edward Island.
In 1986, the Association of the Acadian Museum decided to redo the interior of the Museum to host its first narrative exhibition, “The Acadians of Prince Edward Island from 1720 to the present.” This exhibition remained in place until the building was demolished in 1990. It featured artifacts, numerous illustrations, and texts that brought the visitors back in time. At the official opening, the Association’s President, J. Edmond Arsenault, declared: “I believe that this exhibition will allow the Acadian Museum to better accomplish its major objectives, that is, to teach and interpret the history of Island Acadians.”
With the construction of the new building in 1990-1991, a new permanent exhibition was designed. Inaugurated on April 24, 1992, the exhibition is entitled “The Island Acadians: The Story of a People”. It tells the odyssey of Island Acadians through interpretive panels, maps, photos, and artifacts from the Acadian Museum’s collection. The exhibition allows visitors to trace the evolution of this Island community from 1720 to the present day: the French Regime on Île Saint-Jean, the tragic Deportation of 1758, the return to the Island, the revival years, and today’s dynamic Acadian society.
To mark the 50th anniversary of the Acadian Museum in 2014, the last part of this exhibition, which covers the period from 1945 to the present, was redone and updated.