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bird perched on a branch

Museum closed Saturday, Sept. 16

The Wendell Gilley Museum will be closed Saturday, Sept. 16, out of an abundance of caution due to Hurricane Lee’s potential impacts on Mount Desert Island. We will be closed as usual on Sunday and Monday; then resume our regular schedule, reopening on Tuesday, Sept. 19 at 10am.

Last Chance! See Avian Artistry before it closes

Avian Artistry: Treasures from Maine Collections closes Thursday, Aug. 17 at 4pm. Don’t miss this chance to see a stellar art exhibit featuring more than 100 pieces from more than 50 private donors and galleries.

Closed for Exhibit Installation

The Museum is closed from 1pm Friday, Aug. 18 through the end of day Monday, Aug. 21 as we install a new special exhibit – Nature’s Masterpiece: Elephant Photographs of Peter Beard. We reopen on Tuesday, Aug. 22 at 10am and will be open that day until 2pm before reverting to our standard schedule of Tueday-Saturday, 10am to 4pm each day.  We look forward to seeing you when we reopen.

Gilley's "...extraordinary and uplifting..." exhibition lauded in new Review

The Gilley is honored by the latest review of our current Special Exhibition, Avian Artistry: Treasures from Maine Collections. Read it for yourself HERE.

You still have time to see this fabulous show before it closes Aug. 17.

The Museum is open every Tuesday through Saturday, from 10am to 4pm.

Closed 4th of July

The Wendell Gilley Museum will be closed on Tuesday, July 4, and will reopen on Wednesday, July 5 at 10am.

That same day we'll be offering:

  • Fabulous Feathers (a fun one-hour workshop for kids and adults) at 10:30am and again at 12:30pm.
  • Mountain Landscape Paint 'n' Sip for kids and adults on Wednesday from 1-3pm.

And on Thursday we’ll be offering two Intro Carving Classes, one at 10:30am-Noon and the other from 1:30-3pm.

Check out our CALENDAR and come visit the Gilley, where our guiding words are: “People, Nature, Art.”

Our Mask Policy

The Wendell Gilley Museum welcomes visitors of all ages and strives to create a safe and hospitable environment. At this time, masking inside the museum is optional in most cases. There may be times when masks may be required for certain events or activities, or in instances of heightened community transmission. The Gilley will continue to provide masks for those who choose to wear them, and we ask that all visitors respect the masking choices of others. We look forward to seeing you, and offer our thanks in advance for helping us create a welcoming experience for everyone.

New Exhibit showcases Avian Art


The Gilley's new exhibition, Avian Artistry: Treasures from Maine Collections, is open!

It features more than 100 pieces of art from private collections, all inspired by birds in some way, and many of which have never been exhibited in public before.

“The range of rendering is remarkable, from geese made from tamarack twigs by Cree artists to Hiroshige’s stylized eagle’s-eye view of Edo, Japan,” says exhibit curator Carl Little. “This aviary of art includes a flamingo, crows, herons, a chickadee, owls, a dodo, catbirds, curlews, loons, wood ducks, and hummingbirds. Artists include the museum’s namesake, Wendell Gilley, along with Ashley Bryan, David Driskell, Carol Shutt, Amy Pollien, Bernard Langlais, Gina Sawin, Rick Alley, Paul Plante, Katie Bell, Dan Falt, and Neil Welliver.  “From beak to toe, from feather to flight, birds offer artists incomparable subject matter.”


Book Giveway Just in Time for March 21 Author Event


The Gilley and the Southwest Harbor Public Library are giving away free copies of  “Sounds Wild and Broken: Sonic Marvels, Evolution’s Creativity, and The Crisis Of Sensory Extinction, just in time for the March 21 online program with its author David George Haskell which is part of a new collaborative program called Reading with Wings.

The book starts with the origins of animal song and traverses the whole arc of Earth's history to explore the emergence, diversification, and loss of the sounds of our world, including human music and language. Cynthia Barnett, reviewing for the New York Times, wrote “'Sounds Wild and Broken’ affirms Haskell as a laureate for the earth … a glorious guide to the miracle of life’s sound.”

The book was longlisted for the PEN/E. O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award and was an editor’s choice in the New York Times Book Review.

Join for a wide-ranging conversation with the author, online on Tuesday, March 21 beginning at 5:30 p.m. The program is free, but registration is required at

To get a copy of the book, drop by the Gilley or the library during regular open hours.


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Current newsletter

January 2020


Check out some of our past newsletters:
November 2019
October 2019 - Fall Fun
August 2019
June 2019 - People, Nature, Art and Parties
Winter 2017
Fall 2016
Summer 2016
Summer 2012
October 2011
September 2011
July 2011
May 2011

wooden bird carvings