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“It's two rooms”

Wendell Gilley Museum
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Attraction details
Owner description: 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.
Dallas, Texas
Level 6 Contributor
122 reviews
46 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
“It's two rooms”
Reviewed August 18, 2014

The carvings are amazing, beautifully displayed. The staff friendly. It is essentially two rooms. We saw everything in about 15 minutes - the staff were surprised we were done so soon - perhaps we missed something?

Visited July 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank StillinLOVEsince84
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GilleyMuseum, Executive Director at Wendell Gilley Museum, responded to this review, August 20, 2014
We appreciate you taking the time to write a review even though you whipped through the Museum in 15 minutes. We're glad that you enjoyed what you saw and found us friendly. Although we do occasionally get visitors that rush through in an effort to pack more into their day, catch a ferry, or just get back to the great outdoors, most do spend more time with us. First time and often returning visitors as well usually spend a half an hour watching our introductory film, Gilley: Portrait of a Bird Carver, or a special nature feature, including live webcam coverage of nesting Atlantic Puffins, Ospreys or other birds. Then there is our unique 6-sided owl puzzle that takes ambitious visitors an average of 45-minutes to complete on one side, plus our substantial avian-themed library to delve into, and, on most days, live carving demonstrations and lessons. As for seeing the currently featured exhibits, everyone is welcome to enjoy them at their own pace, be that speedy or slow. We're not sure how you reduced the Museum to two rooms, so maybe you did miss something, but we are glad that you enjoyed your short visit.
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34 reviews from our community

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  • English first
  • Any
English first
Attleboro, Massachusetts
Level 4 Contributor
33 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Inspiring Story, Beautiful Museum Exhibit”
Reviewed August 9, 2014

The story of Wendell Gilley, and his 'birds' will warm your heart and inspire your family. We took our family to visit on a rainy day in Maine, and we were not disappointed. Admission is affordable for all, and the exhibits beautifully arranged, and enjoyable. I didn't think I had any interest in 'bird carvings' but I was pleasantly surprised and so was my family.

Visited August 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank Bauer E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GilleyMuseum, Executive Director at Wendell Gilley Museum, responded to this review, August 20, 2014
Thank you for your review; it warms OUR hearts when visitors truly "get" what we are trying to share. Inspired by our namesake, Wendell Gilley, we strive to make connections between people, nature and art. We hope to connect with you and your family in the future.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Middletown, New Jersey
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Bird carving in Southwest Harbor”
Reviewed August 3, 2014

We just happened upon the Gallery and wandered in. One of the craftsmen sat down with me and taught me how to carve a small bird.

Visited June 2014
Helpful?
Thank Donna H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GilleyMuseum, Exec at Wendell Gilley Museum, responded to this review, August 20, 2014
We are glad you found us and that you were able to have a hands-on experience. Introductory carving lessons, day-long workshops as well as longer classes and a members' carving club are offered at the Gilley Museum. See the education page on our Website for more information:
http://www.wendellgilleymuseum.org/education/workshops.html
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Las Vegas
Level 6 Contributor
125 reviews
53 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 133 helpful votes
“Been there Twice”
Reviewed July 25, 2014

I have visited the museum twice which must mean that I like it a lot. The place is a hidden gem that is never crowded but it should be because I can not think of any museum that has what this one has. The displays are well organized and the carvings are amazing. I wish that I could have the opportunity of taking some of their courses but alas I live too far from Southwest Harbor.

We are going to be in the Bar Harbor twice this year - once with my granddaughters and once off a cruise. We are certainly going to take the kids so that they can experience this marvelous place.

I have several bird carvings at home including one that I purchased at the museum.

If you are in Bar Harbor, don't forget to experience Southwest Harbor and the Gilley Museum.

Visited August 2013
Helpful?
Thank donaldsc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GilleyMuseum, Executive Director at Wendell Gilley Museum, responded to this review, August 20, 2014
We are so glad that you don't think of the Gilley Museum as a "been there, done that" kind of place. There is always something new to see and do and we enjoy welcoming returning visitors back as friends.
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Reno, Nevada
Level 5 Contributor
69 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
“Loved it!!”
Reviewed June 26, 2014

Stopped in here at the end of a rainy day. I wasn't sure what to expect and was pleasantly surprised. The carvings are amazing and represent so many birds in their natural habitat. Ended up purchasing a wall mounted carving depicting some of our favorite birds. What a great souvenir to take home. So much more meaningful (in my opinion) than a T-shirt!
I think kids would love this place as much as adults do.

Visited June 2014
Helpful?
Thank Barb_C_Cdn_in_TX
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GilleyMuseum, Executive Director at Wendell Gilley Museum, responded to this review, June 28, 2014
We're so glad that the Wendell Gilley Museum helped your rainy day shine. We hope you think of us when you look at the carving you acquired and smile at the memory. Thank you for sharing your experience and encouraging others to visit. It would be a pleasure to welcome you back, rain or shine, next time you are in Southwest Harbor. Our exhibits and programs change every year, so there's always something new to see and traditions to renew.
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