Antiques & Collectibles

Birds of a Feather: Wildfowl Decoys At Shelburne Museum

A book that celebrates one of the most breathtaking and comprehensive collections of wildfowl decoys in America. Bird decoys were used for hunting in North America until the advent of hunting regulations in the early twentieth century, when decoys started to be prized and collected as masterpieces of American folk art. This handsome book is the first examination of the historic and unparalleled decoy collection at Shelburne Museum. Featuring new photography of 250 of the museum’s most important and artistically carved decoys, it includes examples made by the most respected American carvers: Charles Osgood, Lem and Steve Ward, John Blair, Bill Bowman, Nathan Cobb, Jr., Lee Dudley, James Holly, Jr., Nathan Horner, Albert Laing, Joseph Lincoln, A. Elmer Crowell, and Charles “Shang” Wheeler. The story of the collection begins with Joel Barber, the pioneer decoy enthusiast and New York architect, artist, and carver, whose gift of 400 superior examples established the collection in 1952. Several essays provide groundbreaking scholarship on the origins, construction, and attribution of bird decoys, imparting critical advancements to our modern understanding of this revered tradition.

About The Author

Thomas Denenberg is the director, Kory W. Rogers is a curator, and Nancie Ravenel is the objects conservator at Shelburne Museum. Cynthia Byrd is the executive director at the Julia A. Purnell Museum, in Salisbury, Maryland

  • Publish Date: September 05, 2017
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Category: Antiques & Collectibles - Subjects & Themes - Americana
  • Publisher: Skira Rizzoli
  • Trim Size: 11 x 10
  • Pages: 176
  • US Price: $65.00
  • CDN Price: $85.00
  • ISBN: 978-0-8478-6060-9


"The unparalleled collection of 1,400 wildfowl decoys at Shelburne Museum in Shelburne, Vt., was established with a 1952 gift of more than 400 superior examples from Joel Barber, a New York City architect, artist, and carver. Barber's groundbreaking 1934 book “Wild Fowl Decoys” was the first to identify the importance of bird decoys as a uniquely American art form."
Antiques & Auction News 

"The unparalleled collection of wildfowl decoys at Shelburne Museum are featured in the newly published Birds of a Feather: Wildfowl Decoys at Shelburne Museum..."
Vermont Country Sampler

Author Bookshelf: Thomas Denenberg