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

Division of Preservation and Access

Antique duck decoys.
Photo caption

Antique duck decoys.

Courtesy of 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.