The Surgeon & The Explorer-Naturalist: The Shorebird Decoys of Clarence Gardner and Newton Dexter

July 13 – October 31, 2019
Clarence Gardner's House 400
Little Compton Historical Society

Clarence Gardner’s house, where the decoys were made.

Curated by Gigi Hopkins

This exhibit displays decoys from the extraordinary rig of Dr. Clarence T. Gardner and Simon Newton Dexter. Made in the late 1800s at Sakonnet Point in Little Compton, RI, these are the only decoys known to have been made in Rhode Island. 

The birds from this single group—created for the makers' own uses—demonstrate a remarkable range, from stunning pristine sculpture to shot-over working decoys. The exhibit will include decoys of five species, demonstrating that range.

Some of the best known Gardner Dexter decoys will be on loan for the exhibit, including:

  • The famed dowitcher pair from the collection of Jane and Ron Gard, formerly of the James McCleery Collection.
  • The dowitcher owned by George Ross Starr, author of Decoys of the Atlantic Flyway.

On display from Saturday, July 13, through Thursday, October 31, 2019.

Exhibition Information

Tuesday-Sunday, 1:00-5:00 pm

The exhibition is at the Museum of American Bird Art.

963 Washington Street, Canton, MA 02021
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Contact Information

Please call 781-821-8853 or email [email protected]