59 School Street, Box 1310, Edgartown MA 02539 - 508.627.4441
Martha's Vineyard Museum MV Museum

For information on listening to the oral history excerpts featured in Art of the Hunt, click here.

The Art of the Hunt: Decoys

Closing March 23, 2013

Stan Murphy, artist and author of the well-known book Martha's Vineyard Decoys, wrote of a decoy he found buried in the dunes, "It was carefully hand-carved by someone who knew a great deal about birds, someone who went beyond craft and created a work of art."

But the men who made duck decoys on Martha's Vineyard did not think of themselves as artists. They carved and painted wooden birds for the purpose of attracting real ones for sport or food. Keyes Chadwick, Benjamin Smith and others featured in the exhibition created working ducks that transcended their intended purpose to become works of art, a testament to the shape and form of the birds they hunted.

This exhibit will explore the work of the Vineyard carvers and the use of decoys on the Island from the late 19th through the mid-20 th century.