Join us on Friday, June 12 at 12 p.m. for a Live Lecture with author and historian John V. Quarstein, director emeritus of the USS Monitor Center! Live from his home in Hampton, Virginia, John will give a 15-minute presentation on how the use of decoys became folk art. Viewers are welcome to send him any comments or questions during the presentation, and John will answer them following his talk!
About this presentation: Decoys are among the oldest and most lasting forms of American folk art. Man has taken simple materials such as wood and captured the bird-spirit in a man-made image. Decoys began as just another tool a hunter needed to use along with his gun, boat, and blind. The more decoys you had in your rig, the better your chances. This amounted to a multitude of makers crafting their own versions of how the birds looked flying overhead or how they sat on the water. Decoys appear to us today, not only as hunting devices, but also because their makers satisfied a need for expression and individuality. Decoys carving and painting styles have made them a highly collectible, treasured form of folk art.
Image credit: Sink Box, Susquehanna Flats, 1933. A. Aubrey Bodine, photographer. The Mariners’ Museum P0001.001-01–P4050.