Gilley Museum offers free admission on founder’s 111th

SOUTHWEST HARBOR — The Wendell Gilley Museum here is offering a day of free admission in honor of the 111th anniversary of its namesake’s birth, Friday, Aug. 21.

Visitors are invited to enjoy the exhibits of bird carvings created by the master from 1931-1983. From perky puffins to elegant eagles, the museum’s collection includes bird carvings that fly, swim, preen and otherwise embody their living counterparts.

The award-winning documentary film by Richard Adams, “Gilley: Portrait of a Bird Carver,” will be shown at noon, and visitors are welcome to visit the Gilley carving workshop with carver-in-residence Steven Valleau, who can show off Gilley’s ingenious tools and pioneering techniques in decorative bird carving.

Visitors are also welcome to enjoy the current exhibition, “A Visit with Ashley Bryan,” on loan from the Ashley Bryan Center. Paintings, drawings, books, puppets and sea glass window panels by the acclaimed Islesford artist and author are among the works that showcase his phenomenal creativity.

The museum will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., with last new entry to the galleries at 4:30 p.m.

Regular non-member admission rates to the Gilley are $5 for adults and $2 for children 5-12, but all fees will be waived on Aug. 21st. The museum is open every day except Monday through Oct. 31.

Call 244-7555, visit or follow the museum at

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