Wendell Gilley Museum

Wendell Gilley Museum, Southwest Harbor: Address, Phone Number, Wendell Gilley Museum Reviews: 4.5/5

Wendell Gilley Museum
4.5
About
Discover where people, art and nature meet in Maine. The Wendell Gilley Museum is a community center that 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. Enjoy a casual visit, enroll in a workshop, or join our members' carving club. Discover one of the "hidden gems" of Mount Desert Island.
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4.5
59 reviews
Excellent
41
Very good
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John B
Ellicott City, MD140 contributions
A great spot.
Jun 2021
Touring the gallery and seeing all the beautiful carved birds and the art work. We took a carving class and it was so much fun,I don't know how to carve and Steve,the teacher was so helpful,it's a gorgeous place to visit.
Written June 26, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

charleswha
1 contribution
Visting the museum and taking a two-hour class
Sep 2020
We visited the Wendell Gilley museum class in September 2020, as part of a trip to Acadia. On their website, we learned they were offering outdoor, distanced bird carving classes, and we signed up for a Thursday morning 2-hour class. When we arrived, a museum staffer named Tammie gave us a great tour of the museum's incredible collection, which spans the work of Wendell Gilley, the artist-in-residence Steve Valleau, and many other wildlife artists, and the collection spans from miniature carvings, to large scale birds, to other artforms like woodcuts and paintings.

Because we visited during COVID-19 distancing, the carving workshop was set up in a tent on the lawn. I carved a small loon, and my partner worked on a small black-capped chickadee. The instructor Steve did a great job of explaining the fundamentals of bird carving and gave us tools to borrow for the day -- and it was a good mix of easy to pick up, but challenging to get right. I've attached a picture of the bird I carved in class.

I believe that the classes are usually offered in summer on Tuesdays and Thursdays, more information can be found at their website -- I'd recommend the museum and the classes to anyone visiting Bar Harbor! They have given me a new appreciation both for birds and for wood carving -- and though we did this class on a lark, I think I may have discovered a life-long hobby (I'm already taking a longer zoom class with Steve the museum to carve a more intricate piece!)
Written December 2, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

EllenNC87
Whittier, NC73 contributions
Very interesting museum
Sep 2019
Wonderful carvings of birds by Gilley and others, paintings. When we were there a local carver was working and you could try your had at carving.
Written October 2, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

SharonEssexville
Essexville110 contributions
Stop and Take a Look Around
Sep 2019
Friendly people met me at the front desk. They explained what to expect as I walked through. They said most people need 45 minutes to an hour. There are bird carvings and art from several different people. They have a movie you can watch. There is a small area with things to buy, but not really even a gift shop. I am a birder so I enjoyed looking at the carvings, which are all well labeled. They had quite a library of books that I assume you can browse. It is a nice change of pace to stop here. They have some bird statues on their lawn, too. Stop in and take a look around.
Written September 28, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Richard L
Chagrin Falls, OH190 contributions
A Celebration of Creative Art
Sep 2019
This museum portrays the life and work of Wendell Gilley, a pioneer in the art of decorative bird carving. It is also a community center with a focus on the visual arts as well an appreciation of the environment and the natural world. It definitely is worth a visit.
Written September 21, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

cat momma
Titusville, FL530 contributions
Downtown Southwest Harbor.
Sep 2019
Great place to go for local history. Easy access right off the main road on 102 going through town. Nice walking area.
Written September 10, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Copperman1
Baltimore, MD253 contributions
A small gem of a museum not limited to bird carving.
Aug 2019
My first visit to the museum I saw a traveling, national curated show of avian sculpture. On this visit I was treated to a show of beautiful landscape paintings and some sculptures drawn from the collection of the Farnsworth Art Museum of Maine. Featured were paintings by Jamie Wyeth, Marsden Hartley, George Innes and Martin Heade, among others along with a small show of avian artist Edwin Gamble’s work. A beautiful show.
Written August 24, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Angela S
Philadelphia, PA58 contributions
The exhibits vary, and some of the special ones are really delightful
Jun 2019 • Friends
Right now there is a special exhibit from the Farnsworth museum a little bit down the coast, but even when it’s just the amazing things that have been made by people in classes and the remarkable carvings of Gilley himself, it’s a really worthwhile stop while visiting Acadia!
Written July 19, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

MockSwede
Brewer, ME164 contributions
He was quite a plumber, too.
Aug 2018 • Friends
He was known to more than a few of us on The Island back when he was around. A growing appreciation for what he'd trained himself to do as an avocation, by the time I hit college and the museum opened before I finished. Bird hunters and birders will appreciate the level of detail and exactitude of his carvings from wood. He was ahead of the curve of artist created bird carving and it seems everyone has one of his originals. He made THOUSANDS. Go see the ones that were not scooped up by the rich and famous who visited MDI and came away with one or more of his works. I'm sure that are lots of carving classes and artwork exhibitions that they must do, too, to round out his collection. Thank his wife for what we can see and share!
Written July 12, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

ann m
Mount Dora4 contributions
A treasure for bird watchers and lovers of Maine
Jun 2019 • Couples
This is a fantastic bird carving museum. The displays are very good and well labeled. They offer lots of interesting programs so check out their website. The art exhibits complement the carvings. A good stop with company on a rainy day. And be sure to look around outside. There are some interesting pieces and tiles to see.
Written July 6, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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