Project

Protecting Shelburne Museum's Decoy Collection: Climate, fire, security, and lighting upgrades for Dorset House

Division of Preservation and Access

Two decoy ducks on a tan background
Photo caption
Humanities Magazine

Shelburne Museum’s unparalleled collection of 1,400 wildfowl decoys was established with a 1952 gift of more than 400 superior examples from Joel Barber, a New York City architect, artist, and carver. Barber’s groundbreaking book Wild Fowl Decoys (1934) was the first to identify the importance of decoys as a uniquely American art form. Wildfowl decoys are exhibited in Dorset House, newly reopened to the public following a four-year meticulous renovation. Significant upgrades to its heating, cooling, lighting, security, and fire protection systems have been supported by this grant.