award ribbons


bird perched on a branch

Demo Days at Schoodic Institute

See how it’s done! Master carver Steve Valleau will be a special guest at the Schoodic Institute on Friday, June 17,  from 1-3pm, doing a hands-on bird carving demonstration outside the Rockefeller Welcome Center. Visit with Steve, and pick up a carving knife yourself. There is no charge to give it a try! Then visit the display of bird carvings from the Wendell Gilley Museum inside the Welcome Center. Steve has been the carver-in-residence at the Museum for 37 years.

We are open!

The museum building has been closed to the public while our HVAC was being upgraded and our new exhibits were being installed. Come see the result of all that work — and everything we've been working on all winter long.

We can't wait to see you. Beginning June 1, we’re open Tuesdays through Fridays from 10am to 4pm. We add Saturdays on a regular basis beginning June 23 from 10am to 4pm. At this time, we are requiring masks and limiting the number of people who can be inside the museum at any one time. Sign up to schedule your visit here:

Our Mask Policy

The Wendell Gilley Museum welcomes visitors of all ages and strives to create a safe and hospitable environment. At this time, we ask that everyone wear a mask while on museum property. We look forward to seeing you, and offer our thanks in advance for helping us create the safest possible experience for everyone. We will re-evaluate our mask policy as conditions in Hancock County evolve, always following the best practices recommended by experts.

Celebrate World Migratory Bird Day with us and Maine Audubon!

Our very own master carver, Steve Valleau, is celebrating World Migratory Bird Day this Saturday, May 14, at Maine Audubon's Fields Pond Center where he'll be doing bird carving demos and talking about carving birds and watching them in Maine. Steve will be carving from 11am-2pm, but the fun starts at the Center at 7:30. All activities are free and no registration is required. Visit their website for more information:

Acadia Birding Festival returns to the Gilley for 2022!

The Gilley is pleased to sponsor the Acadia Birding Festival again in 2022, and to serve as a location for daily talks and gatherings. The festival is June 1-5 and registration opens April 2 online. Visit the festival's website at for more information and to register. The Acadia Birding Festival is Maine’s oldest and largest birding fest, and offers a huge slate of trips on and around Mount Desert Island, from hikes around the national park to paddling and island excursions by boat, all combined with rock-star keynote speakers.

Thank you!

2021 was a terrific year at the Gilley – thanks for being part of it.

We are closed for repair and project work, but will be offering programs online all winter and early spring, with a few offered and in-person too. Watch our Events page and subscribe to the newsleter to find out what’s coming up.

Gilley launches Digital Scrapbook


The Gilley is excited to announce the creation of a Digital Scrapbook in honor of our artist-in-residence, Steve Valleau. Steve has been with the museum for more than 35 years, and a lot of people have taken classes with him over the years. Were you one of them? Did you take a class with him? Carve a bird you still have? Gained an insight or had some fun? We want to know about it, and we've created a special page on our website just for that purpose. Submit you memories, observations, or photos to the new page on our website HERE.


From the Collection - Gilley's First Painting

Wendell Gilley wasn't just a carver. As part of our work to catalog our museum collection, we've come across some fun and fascinating finds, including this painting of Southwest Harbor by Wendell Gilley himself.  Inscribed on the back: "For Leonard. My first attempt, Dad".



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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