about the collection
The Wendell Gilley Museum’s collection of bird carvings by its namesake includes pieces made between 1931 and 1983, from his first piece (a primitive miniature mallard drake) to a life-size king eider drake made especially for the Museum. The carver’s wife, Addie Gilley, created the core of the collection by diligently saving more than 100 works during a 50-year period. Her collection enabled the Museum to open in 1981 with excellent representations from all eras of her husband’s carving career. Many additional works have since been added to the collection, primarily through the generosity of private donors. Works on exhibit at the Museum are usually pieces from private lenders as well as selections from the collection.