The Lewes Historical Society's outdoor craft fair and fundraiser arrays more than 80 artisans from the mid-Atlantic region in front of a backdrop of historical structures. Visitors admire homespun jewelry, cozy up to quilts, and marvel at sculptures whittled from blocks of wood or slightly larger sculptures. Vibrant stained glass casts dazzling light, while an array of hand-thrown pottery quivers in fear of wayward elbows and undercover bulls. Picturesque cherry trees shade a cluster of picnic tables, ideal for listening to the festival's lineup of live music and noshing on the spread of baked goods and other refreshments for sale.
The glistening waters of Schumaker Pond welcome visitors to The Ward Museum of Wildfowl Art, named after Stephen and Lemuel Ward, two carvers who transformed the art of decoy crafting. The collection of wood-carved birds served not only as hunting tools, but later, as artistic objects that illustrated the beauty of wildfowl from around the world.
Size: 12,000 square feet of exhibition space with more than 2,000 objects in its permanent collection
Eye Catcher: The sounds of ducks echo in The Decoy in Time Gallery a reconstructed wetland that features decoys and hunting gear, illustrating the decoy's history starting with its use by Native American tribes
Permanent Mainstay: As their day job was cutting hair, The Ward Brothers Workshop is a reproduction of their barbershop studio and displays their original carvings
Don't Miss: For decades, the museum foundation has hosted a decoy carving championship, gathering artists from the world over. The World Championship Gallery features many of the winning decoys and includes carvings of eagles, owls, and swans, among others.
Past Exhibits: Not only hunters use decoys; conservationists do as well, to try to attract birds to safe areas. Birds of a Feather: Conservation Decoys displayed many of these decoys.
Special Programs: On the grounds around the museum, patrons can see wildlife in its natural habitat at the Ward Museum Living Classroom and during a walk through the nature trails.
From the Press: "Some [objects] are workmanlike, displayed so the visitor can see how the wood was carved. Others, like an arctic tern and gyrfalcon carved out of walnut and encased in its own glass cube, are spectacular works of art." ? Bay Journal "Like decoy carving itself . . . the Ward Museum has grown to be a significant purveyor of the artistic, natural, and cultural legacy of this art form." ? NEA Arts Magazine
The Biggs Museum of American Art showcases late founder Sewell C. Biggs's impressive collection that focuses on the evolution of American and especially Mid-Atlantic art from the 18th century up to the present. Steal some time inside the museum's 18 intimate galleries and peruse the permanent collection’s early American furniture, regional silver, and sculptures needled by the famously opposable-thumbed Hiram Powers. Although admission is free, the Biggs Museum fills a bustling calendar with programs such as art classes and kids’ activities that members can enjoy at a discount, along with events such as the annual member appreciation breakfast. With a rotating cast of exhibitions, current offerings include the Award Winners XI exhibition running through October 23, 2011, which displays works by the Individual Artist fellows of the Delaware Division of the Arts. The upcoming Delaware By Hand: Masters Competition exhibition, on display from November 4, 2011 to February 19, 2012, features contemporary work chosen by a panel of judges and presented in tandem with an array of public programs, art sales, and grassroots movements to line public spaces with paint-spewing fire hydrants.
The Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum is a non-profit organization dedicated to sharing the stories of the Chesapeake Bay and the people who have shaped their lives around it. With 18 waterfront acres in the historic town of St. Michaels, the Museum offers exhibits, boat rides, festivals and more.
When Frank Wheaton Jr. first visited the Corning Museum of Glass in the early 1960s, it caught his ire. On display were many marvelous works of glass?treasures forged of sand, wood, soda ash, and silica that represented the dawning of the American glass industry. Frank's problem? Those shiny, fragile masterpieces were being exhibited in New York and not where they were birthed: New Jersey.
As the grandson of glass magnate Dr. Theodore Corson Wheaton?whose glass pharmaceutical bottles were instrumental in giving rise to the Millville glass monarchy of the Wheaton company?Frank claimed his birthright and created Wheaton Village now known as Wheaton Arts and Cultural Center. The organization has a mission to engage artists and audiences in an evolving exploration of creativity, and has appealed to audiences of all ages for over four decades with its diverse traditional and contemporary arts programs, classes, workshops and exhibitions. Also on-site is The Museum of American Glass, housing one of the most comprehensive collections of American glass in the country, from the first glass bottles made in America, to celebrated works by Dale Chihuly and other contemporary artists who work with glass. Visitors can also experience the art of glassmaking, ceramics and flameworking in the Artists Studios, and the museum stores offer traditional and contemporary art in a variety of mediums.
In 1881, arriving by water or rail, visitors to the Jersey Shore met a rather startling sight: an elephant, trunk lowered in a feeding position, towering six stories high. The elephant?shaped building, nicknamed "Lucy," was designed to attract prospective real-estate buyers to Margate, New Jersey. The brainchild of the elephant, James V. Lafferty Jr., actually had designed three gigantic elephants, but by 1969, only a derelict Lucy was left. Thanks to the dedicated Save Lucy Committee, which formed in 1970, the landmark?now listed on the National Park Registry of Historical Landmarks?reopened in 1974.
Constructed from wood and metal, Lucy weighs 90 tons; her ears each weigh 2,000 pounds alone. Every 30 minutes, guided tours enter the spiral stairway in her hind legs, which climbs through her insides up to the howdah on her back. This perch affords a stunning 360-degree view of Josephine Harron Park and the surrounding shore, where beachgoers sunbathe, splash in the water, and struggle to pay the mortgage on their sandcastles.