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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.


A Flight of Swallows - GET YOUR TICKETS NOW!

Thursday, August 1 from 5:30 - 8:00

Neighborhood House, Northeast Harbor

We're excited to announce that this year's Flight of Swallows features over 40 wines from Italy! You will find an excellent selection, curated by Scott Worcester of Sawyer's Specialities, with knowledgeable pourers and a Field Guide to Wines for all attendees.

With so many great wines to try, excellent food from Sips restaurant and live jazz, this is an evening you don't want to miss.

Tickets are $150 and can be purchased here, or contact us at 207 244 7555 or

All proceeds benefit the museum's exhibitions and programs. You can also choose to extend your support for the museum  - become a Flight of Swallows Sponsor. Sponsorships include event tickets, as well as public acknowledgement. To learn more about Sponsorship, click here or contact the museum. We look forward to raising a glass with you!



Sunday, July 7 5:30 - 7:30

Treasures of the Farnsworth exhibition Preview Party

Join us for an exclusive exhibition reception with special guest Christopher J. Brownawell, Director of the Farnsworth Art Museum. Light food and drink served. Suggested donation $10/person at the door. For more information, or to RSVP: or (207)244-7555





Treasures of the Farnsworth: Maine Masterworks

Special exhibition space, June 28 - October 16, 2019

The Gilley and the Farnsworth join forces in order to bring you a unique collection of Maine Masterworks, especially curated for the Gilley, including 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.   Pictured: Fitz Henry Lane and Mary Blood Mellen, View of Southwest Harbor, Circa 1850.

Stay tuned for more details on special programming and workshops during the summerand fall, including a lecture by Farnsworth Head Curator, Michael Komenecky.

If you'd like to support this exciting show, contact us to ask about sponsorship opportunities, which include benefits such as public acknowledgement and invitations to exclusive special events. or 207 244-7555. Pictured: Leon Kroll, Crashing Waves, Ogunquit, 1915.

Supported in part by the Maine Community Foundation. Exhibition organized by the Farnsworth Art Museum, Rockland, Maine.


Main Gallery space, May 12, 2019 - October14, 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. Pictured: Harold Haertel Poster by B. Mattison.


Summer Programs


Get ready to spread your wings and join us for a flock of exciting summer programs! 

There's nothing quite like letting your mind wander as your hands work away at a satisfying craft. Why not try your hand at one of the Gilley's engaging workshops? For families and individuals alike, our programs encourage creativity and a spirit of discovery.

Family Programs:

Wood Block Printing: Gilley staff member Allison Maurais will be leading a block printing workshop for kids (and adults) 6 and up on Saturday, July 6 from 2-4pm at the Gilley.

The theme of this year's world-famous Flamingo Festival (July 12 - 15) in Southwest Harbor is "every day heroes", so we'll be printing capes that we can proudly flaunt in the Flamingo Festival Parade on July 13.
We'll provide the blocks for printing, capes, and all the other art supplies. You'll be invited to proudly wear your new cape and join us in the parade on July 13. Pre-registration encouraged: or (207) 244-7555 for details or to register.

Wood Carving Lessons: Bring your family (or just yourself!) for an expidition into the art of carving. There are 2 hour classes, Tuesday - Friday in the morning & afternoon. $35.00 with a kit & lesson. Advance registration highly recommended at (207)244-7555 or




Work on the digital archive is in progress! We currently have 89 items on public view and nearly a 100 more we're still working on behind the scenes - stay tuned and see more of Wendell's carvings online soon!

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 sponsor, contact us at or 207 244-7555. 



We continue welcoming donations in support of our work year-round. Give online to the Wendell Gilley Museum, or contact us about volunteer opportunities. Donations and memberships are tax deductible.


Fairfield Porter, The Dock, 1974 - 1975, Oil on Canvas, Collection of the Farnsworth Art Museum;

Gift of Mrs. Anne Porter, 1979.55



Open Tuesday - Saturday

10 - 5

Closed Sunday and Monday




Sunday, July 7, 5:30 - 7:30


A Flight of Swallows tickets!

Thursday, August 1

5:30 - 8:00pm

Neighborhood House, NE Harbor






A Flight of Swallows 2018


Spring Open House & Carving Show


Student artists holding their Arctic Tern Silhouettes during the Spring Open House



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


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     Treasures of the Farnsworth SPONSORS:

     Lead sponsors:

     Barbara and Steven Rockefeller

     Antoinette and Ben Brewster

     Carol and Dick Habermann

     Maine Community Foundation



     Dawson Bradford Real Estate and Insurance

     Elaine and Olle Haggstrom

     Eleanor and Leigh Hoagland

     Lydia Kimball

     Jack Ledbetter

     Martie and Ed Samek

     Charles V. Stanhope

     Diane and Tad Templeton

     Robin and Paul Vermylen

     Bar Harbor Bank and Trust


     Media Sponsor:

     Maine Magazine




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