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909 South Schumaker Drive
Salisbury, MD 21804

Museum Hours

Mon - Sat: 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Sun: 12 p.m. - 5 p.m.

Changing Exhibits


Charley Harper's Bird Extravaganza

Summer 2014


Charley Harper’s highly stylized wildlife prints, posters, and book illustrations have captivated generations of viewers. Readers and art enthusiasts may know his work from The Giant Golden Book of Biology, Ford Times, or any of the over 50 ecological and conservation posters he created for non-profit conservation groups, nature centers, zoos, U.S. national parks and monuments, and international wildlife sanctuaries and biosphere reserves.

The Ward Museum is excited to display a large collection of Charley Harper prints as part of Charley Harper’s Bird Extravaganza! Harper’s colorful creations will fill the Museum’s halls this summer, beginning May 23. In addition to the indoor exhibit, the Extravaganza continues outside as well. Get up close and personal with nature as you search for Harper’s birds and their real-life counterparts in a bird-themed scavenger hunt. The hunt takes place on the Norman and Judy Glenn and Eugene Burkett Nature Trails alongside the Ward Museum. This whimsical exhibit is sure to be fun for the whole family.


Charley Harper

Basketry: Traditions Interwoven

June 13 – September 7, 2014

Opening Reception: June 13, 2014, 5-7 pm

Basket weaving is arguably the most widespread traditional art form in the history of human civilization. Archaeologists have found pressed imprints of woven baskets decorating clay pots more than 10,000 years old. The technique of weaving has been passed along, re-discovered, and expanded upon by countless cultures, and basket makers are as innovative today as their forebears were. Visit the Welcome Gallery for a look at historic and contemporary regional works ranging from farm baskets to eel pots to decorative art pieces like the one at right by Jean Poythress Koon.

Learn more about this craft during a lecture by Dr. Kathleen Beauchesne (Center for Research in Basketry, Inc.) and a hands-on market basket workshop led by local weaver Susan Taylor. These events take place on September 6 at the Ward Museum. The talk is free to the public, registration is required by August 27 for the workshop and space is limited.

Basket of oyster shell and salt marsh hay by Jean Poythress Koon, Morattico, Virginia

Preserving Eden: The Photography of Clyde Butcher

July 11, 2014 - September 28, 2014

Keynote Address:  Friday, August 8, 7-10 pm, Wicomico Youth & Civic Center, $15 pp, Tickets available in the Online Store

Clyde Butcher's powerful black and white photographs explore his personal bond with the environment. The exquisite beauty and depth of his work draw the viewer into a relationship with nature. For more than fifty years, he has been preserving on film the untouched areas of the landscape. His large format cameras allow him to express the elaborate detail and textures that distinguish the intricacy of the landscape, with photographs ranging in size from 8x10 inches to 5x8 feet. Preserving Eden: The Photography of Clyde Butcher produced by the South Florida Museum, Bishop Planetarium, Inc. Made possible with assistance from Clyde Butcher Galleries. Exhibit toured by the South Florida Museum Traveling Exhibits Service.

A Most Respectable Bird: The Wild Turkey

September 12, 2014 – February 28, 2015

Opening Reception: September 12, 5-7 pm

Europeans in colonial America, who first encountered wild turkeys in the “New World,” became fascinated with the bird both as a food source and a symbol. Benjamin Franklin believed the turkey would more suitably represent the nascent United States than the bald eagle, stating it is “a true original native of America.” Indeed, the wild turkey is peculiar to the Americas, and American Indians have long used the wild turkey for food, regalia, and in symbolism. Today there are five subspecies of wild turkey in North America, which have rebounded from development- and hunting-related decimation in the early 20th century, thanks to extensive conservation efforts. Visit the Welcome Gallery beginning September 12 for a unique look at items portraying the remarkable history and significance of this respectable bird.

Eastern Wild Turkey

Lloyd J. Tyler: Folk Artist, Decoy Maker

October 3, 2014 – January 11, 2015

On October 11, 2014 join noted author and decoy historian Henry Stansbury for a talk on Lloyd Tyler, followed by the exhibit's opening reception, 3-5:00 pm. Both events occur during the Chesapeake Wildfowl Expo.

Lloyd J. Tyler (1898-1971) carved his first decoy at the age of twelve using a spokeshave, pocketknife, and hatchet. Even as an adult with a formal art education and other tools at his disposal, Tyler continued, using just a hatchet, a rasp and a spokeshave to produce good-looking, functional decoys by the hundreds, made in a matter of minutes. Despite his simple approach, the decoys, decorative carvings, and paintings he produced are sometimes realistic, often stylized, and occasionally whimsical, made to fulfill a great demand by local hunters, gunning clubs, and tourists. The LaMay Gallery showcases the delightful variety of working decoys and works of folk art created by the versatile and prolific “Coy Duck King.”


The Hidden Works of J.N. "Ding" Darling

January 16 – May 10, 2015

Opening Reception January 16, 5-7 pm

Throughout his lifetime, J.N. “Ding” Darling (1876-1962) used his artistic skill, political savvy, and sharp wit to create an enduring legacy of environmental conservation. Darling won two Pulitzer Prizes for his political cartoons, served in the U.S. Bureau of Biological Survey (a predecessor to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service) under Franklin D. Roosevelt, designed the first federal duck stamp, began what would become the National Wildlife Federation, and kept U.S. politicians on their toes. From January 16 through May 10, 2015 visit the LaMay Gallery at the Ward Museum for an unusual look into the life and works of Ding Darling. The Hidden Works of Jay N. “Ding” Darling will feature rare artifacts that help illustrate this conservationist and modern day renaissance man’s remarkable life.

J.N. "Ding" Darling