Wild, wonderful, wood carved ducks and more at the Ward Museum
Off to see the birds
From Oxford, we are heading for Salisbury, MD., home of the Ward Museum of Wildfowl Art, (909 S. Schumacher Drive; Salisbury, MD 21804 (410) 742-4988). It was one of the biggest oh-wow moments during my entire road trip.
The artwork represents some of the absolute finest modern-day wood carved ducks and waterfowl you will find anywhere in the world, in my opinion at least. From the original hand-carved wooden duck decoys crafted by the Ward brothers, to fantastic owls, eagles and other birds of prey, the museum holds dozens and dozens of intricately carved examples of hand carving and finishing.
So off we go to Salisbury
Heading east from Oxford, we are going to take Route 333 for 6+ miles, until we get to US-50. Turn right on US-50 and head south on the Ocean Gateway for 38 miles. In downtown Salisbury, turn right on Ward Street, immediately right on E. Main and then immediately left on Rt. 12 – Snow Hill Road. After a half-mile, bear left onto S. Schumacher Drive and after another mile, you’ll turn left into the museum parking lot just after crossing Beaglin Park Drive.
Arriving at the museum
The Ward Museum of Wildfowl Art is located alongside the Schumacher Pond, and chances are good that you’ll discover some live waterfowl before you get from your car to the museum. If you have some time afterwards, you might want to walk the paths around the pond. (I say afterwards, because you are likely to be in the museum much longer than you anticipated – the exhibits are just that good.)
You’ll find the preserved Ward Brother’s wood carving shop and tools, where they carved and painted for more than 50 years. Other life-sized exhibits include the beautifully done “duck blind”.
Special events are held throughout the year, and for 2017, here are few worth considering:
Delmarvelous Festival with free evening concert on May 20.
Art in Nature Photo Festival from August 11-13.
Chesapeake Wildfowl Expo on October 14.
The last one is on my birthday, so if you go, you can send me a selfie as a birthday greeting. I’d love that.
Check ahead and see when they are doing carving demonstrations, it might become your new hobby.
Each year, a world class competition is held in Ocean City, MD, and many of the waterfowl carving winners are on display here at the museum for the coming year. When we attended, these were some of the carvings that just blew me away.
Many of these carvings are all the more remarkable as they are only allowed one point of connection. See if you can figure out how they stay upright.
To learn more about how carved wooden ducks are judged, and the history of the museum, here’s an in-depth video.
Presently, museum hours are Mon. – Sat. 10 – 5 and Sun. 12 – 5.
Check their website for current information – http://www.wardmuseum.org or call them at 410.742.4988.
Continue reading as we conclude our Maryland road trip with a stop at a fabulous little B&B in Whitehaven, MD.
Did you miss any of these Maryland Eastern Shore articles?
Also published on Medium.