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2019 Exhibitions - Coming soon


Harold Haertel

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.

Artist Paul Rickert & The Susan Abbott Myers Collection

Reception: May 12, 12 - 4pm
Exhibition dates: May 12 - June 8

In collaboration with the Gallery at Somes Sound and the Myers family, the Gilley is excited to announce an exhibition of paintings by acclaimed artist Paul Rickert, collected by Susan Abbott Myers (1935-2017). Myers first engaged with the paintings of Paul Rickert when she saw, and bought, a painting of his that featured her home in Brooksville, ME. A later painting, which she saw in The American Art Review, featured not only her house, but herself! Rickert's art connected the two - neighbors who did not know each other - and led to an outstanding collection of Rickert's paintings (Susan was a discerning collector) as well as a friendship they both treasured. Come to the Gilley to see Rickert's stunning watercolor and oil paintings, collected by Susan Myers over the years, and share their love of Maine's land and waters.



Treasures of the Farnsworth: Maine Masterworks

Special exhibition space, June 29 - October 16, 2019


The Gilley and the Farnsworth join forces in order to bring you a unique collection of Maine Masterworks, especially curated by 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 above: 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 summer and fall, including a lecture by Farnsworth director, Michael Komenecky. If you'd like to take part and support this exciting show, contact us to ask about sponsorship opportunities, which include benefits such as public acknowledgement and invitations to our special events. or 207 244-7555. Pictured above: Leon Kroll, Crushing Waves, Ogunquit, 1915. 


RECENT Exhibitions


Barbara Ernst Prey: Earth, Sea, Sky

June 30 through October 14, 2018

Earth, Sea, Sky highlights Barbara Prey’s work in Maine through large-scale watercolor paintings and newer oil paintings. Several recent paintings from Mount Desert Island and the town of Southwest Harbor are being exhibited for the first time. The show also explores Prey’s creative process and the techniques that she uses in her light-filled paintings, which range from plein air nature studies to large landscapes and monumental paintings that expand the traditional boundaries of the watercolor medium.

With this exhibition of paintings by Prey, the Museum celebrates the art and the place that Wendell Gilley worked and called home. A love of nature and a keen eye for observation can be seen in the work of both artists - from the stunning vista of mountain, ocean, and sky in Prey’s painting Acadia to the balance of proportion and personality that Wendell Gilley brought to his bird carving through knife and brushstroke.

Drawing from Nature

Observation and art are both evident in the work by naturalists and illustrators Amy Gagnon and Jordan Chalfant. They share their field notebooks, sketches, drawings, and paintings, as well as a their joy of discovery in this exhibit. The focus of their work ranges from the internal details of a flower to trailside vistas. In addition to viewing completed paintings, visitors can flip through the pages of their sketchbooks and learn ways to make notes, capture colors, and observe wildlife behaviors.

Year of the Bird

A diverse array of detailed bird carvings by Wendell Gilley highlight the majesty and wonder of birds as The Gilley Museum joins the celebration of the centennial year of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. In honor of this milestone, over a 100 organizations around the world are recognizing 2018 as year of the bird, including National Geographic, the National Audubon Society, and the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. The exhibit shares stories of migration, protection, and diversity, while capturing the unique beauty of birds.

Additional works by Wendell Gilley, including his first bird, and carvings by Steven Valleau and Museum members are on display. Gilley's workbenches, tools, and works in progress reveal the process of carving.

20 Birds of Mount Desert Island

Changing selections of collotypes from Carroll Sargent Tyson's watercolor paintings of local avian fauna are currently on display. Carroll Sargent Tyson (1878-1956) spent summers on Mount Desert Island. While well-respected for his impressionistic oil paintings, he also worked on watercolor portraits of birds. In 1941, the Philadelphia Academy of Natural Sciences published a collection of these in the folio Birds of Mount Desert Island.





Watercolor painting by artist Paul Rickert


Watercolor painting by artist Paul Rickert


Watercolor painting by artist Paul Rickert


Watercolor painting by artist Paul Rickert


Watercolor painting by artist Paul Rickert

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