Featured Article Title
Working Birds: Decoys and Their Carvers
Waterfowl has been an important food source for many centuries. The abundant flocks of migratory birds to the Atlantic coast gave rise to an industry called market hunting. In the late 1800s, restrictions that limited the hunting and shooting of these birds were nearly nonexistent.
By the early 1900s, local craftsmen were carving shorebird, duck, and goose decoys as a method of hunting waterfowl, with hunt clubs and hunting lodges as major clients. “Working bird” decoy usage fell as stricter hunting laws were eventually passed. The wooden decoys in this exhibition range from areas of Back Bay, Virginia, to Ocracoke in Dare County, North Carolina. A special feature of the exhibition will include a circa 1902 Ruddy Duck carved by Alvery (Alvirah) Wright (1872–1951) of Old Trap, a fourth-generation boatbuilder and decoy carver.