SOUTHWEST HARBOR — The Wendell Gilley Museum is holding its annual free open house on the birthday of its namesake, Sunday, Aug. 21, from noon until 5 p.m.
On the 112th anniversary of Wendell Gilley’s birth, it will be a centennial celebration and then some, since this year the museum is a partner in the celebration of the Centennial of Acadia National Park with its new exhibition, “Friends in Acadia.”
The exhibit centers on the Whitfield Painter Collection of bird carvings by Wendell Gilley on loan from the collector’s family. Painter, a marine rope salesman, became friends with Gilley during his sales trips to Mount Desert Island in the 1950s. Usually spread across the country, the collection has been reunited by Painter’s family for the first time for public exhibition at the Gilley Museum.
Two extraordinary new permanent acquisitions also are on exhibit, a flock of Canada geese given in memory of E. Robert Kinney, a founding board member, and a pair of ruffed grouse in flight from the collection of William R. Grant, purchased in honor of the 80th birthday of the museum’s founding president, Steven Rockefeller. The new installation of carvings is paired with a rare showing of all 20 prints from the series “Birds of Mount Desert Island,” by Carroll Sargent Tyson, who was a friend and painting mentor to Wendell Gilley.
Regular visitor hours at the Gilley Museum are Tuesday-Saturday from 10 a.m. till 5 p.m. through August, and until 4 p.m. beginning Sept. 1, with last new entry to the galleries 30 minutes before closing. Admission is always free to members and only $5 for adults, $2 for those aged 5-12. Carving workshops are available year-round; pre-registration is required. Information is available at the museum or at www.wendellgilleymuseum.org.