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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!





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.



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). 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 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.


Spring Open House & Carving Show: a Trio of Treats


Thank you all for a wonderful afternoon of art, music, food and conversation! We would like to extend our special thanks to our collaborators and contributers: to the carvers who exhibited their hard work, to The Gallery at Somes Sound and Tyra Hanson for bringing Paul Rickert and the Susan Abbott Myers Collection to the Gilley and to Paul Haertel for curating Natural Talent: The Carvings of Harold Haertel, to Sips for the delicious food and to the Jazz Collective for the great music. Thank you again for celebrating the long awaited arrival of Spring and the art of bird carving with us!  




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 sponsopr, 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.









The Museum will open June 1

A Trio of Treats:
Member & Student Carvings

The Carvings of Harold Haertel

The Paintings of Pual Rickert

Sunday, May 12, 12-4pm

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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Museum trustee & exhibit curator Paul Haertel with visitor at the Spring Open House


Spring Open House & Carving Show


Spring Open House & Carving Show


Spring Open House & Carving Show


Spring Open House & Carving Show

Spring Open House & Carving Show





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