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The Wendell Gilley Museum celebrates the life and work of Wendell Gilley, a pioneer in the field of decorative bird carving. It teaches the art of bird carving and presents art exhibitions and educational programs with a special focus on people, nature, and art. The Museum endeavors to inspire appreciation of the visual arts, engagement in artistic creativity, and respect and care for the natural world.

If you are feeling inspired, consider joining our creative communitycarving classes, programs for kids, and members’ carving club continue into spring. And if you can’t fly in, follow the flock on Facebook. School and community groups are welcome to arrange programs and tours.


Exciting news: online collection catalog is underway!


The Gilley is excited to announce work on a new online collection catalog! Over 2019, with the help of staff, trustees and volunteers, we expect to have most of our original permanent collection done, with newer acquisitions, works of art on paper, and a sizeable archive to follow in coming years.

We'd like to thank software architect and consultant George Soules for setting us up and providing technical guidance and support - we're honored to be joining the network of local cultural institutions who share this same digital archive platform! If you'd like to learn more about this great resource, just get in touch.

Funded in part by a grant from the Maine Arts Commission, this is a crucial project for the museum which will make our collections accessible and inspiring to more people. It will take several years and many resources to complete. If you'd like to be involved with this project or to be a sponsopr, contact us at or 207 244-7555. 




Main Gallery space, May 2019 - October 2019

Harold Haertel was a carver from Dundee, Illinois who was born the same year as Wendell Gilley. Harold and Wendell worked in the same world of bird carving but despite many similarities in their background and work, their carvings are very different. In 2019, we will tell a story in our museum about bird carving that explores the lives and work of these two extremely talented carvers. Museum member, and carver, Paul Heartel will curate this exhibition with the help of museum carver Steven Valleau. This exhibition is possible thanks to the generosity of Tom Haertel - Harold's son, and a carver himself. See a preview at our December 16, 2018 Open House.

The FARNSWORTH and the GILLEY join forces

Special exhibition space, June 29 - October 16, 2019

We are excited to be collaborating with the Farnsworth Museum on an exhibition that highlights paintings of Maine, featuring a range of important painters such as Fitz Henry Lane, George Bellows, Marsden Hartley, Neil Welliver, Emily Muir, Jaime Wyeth, and many more. The exhibition will also feature outstanding modern bird scupltures by Maine artists Edwin Gamble and Bernard Langlais and by Louise Nevelson. Stay tuned for more details of this show in the new year. If you'd like to be part of this exciting show, contact us to ask about sponsorship, which includes benefits such as public acknowledgement and special events. or 207 244-7555. 


Gratitude & giving

We are truly grateful for the generosity, time and talent of all of our supporters, trustees and volunteers. You keep the museum alive and creative. The Gilley continues to grow, with a new online collection catalog in the works, more school and family programs, and vibrant new exhibitions that celebrate people, nature and art.

Consider supporting our work by donating to the Wendell Gilley Museum. Give online, or contact us about volunteer opportunities. Donations and memberships are tax deductible.



Annual Holiday Open House, Carving & Student Art Show

Sunday, Dec 16, 12-4pm

Free and open to the public, refreshments served.

Flocks of Godwits, cardinals, puffins and other new member carvings will land at the Gilley, together with vibrant watercolors by local student artists. Join us to celebrate their art and the season!

Highlighting carvings by Museum Members, watercolors and nature journals by 5th and 6th graders from local schools, and puffins by students in the Schoodic Arts For All after-school program. Live music, good food and drink, and great art.









Drawing from Nature
temporary exhibition
June 1 through November 15


Year of the Bird
exhibition of Gilley carvings


Holiday Card Printmaking Workshop
Tuesday, Nov 13, 5-8pm

One-day Cardinal Ornament Carving Class

Sat, Dec 1, 10-4pm
Sat, Dec 8, 10-4pm

$35 for members, $40 for non members



Carving Club

Friday, November 2 to Friday, April 26, 1-4pm

Except on holidays. No club 11/23, 12/28


Holiday Open House, Carving & Student Art Show

Sunday, Dec 16, 12-4pm

Come see new carvings by members and vibrant watercolors by local students!

Free and open to the public, refreshments provided.

Advance registration required for many events, please contact us at 207 244 7555 or



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