The Art of the Hunt: Martha’s Vineyard Decoys

In the 19th and early 20th century, wild ducks, geese, and other birds served as an important part of the annual cycle of food on Martha’s Vineyard. Vineyarders placed decoys in ponds and along the shore, hoping to lure the wild birds close enough to shoot. The decoys they used came from all over the country, but many Islanders also carved their own. See a selection of decoys from the Museum collection from carvers including Henry Keyes Chadwick, Elmer Crowell, William E. Dugan Sr., and more.