Cape Cod Museum of Natural History
Categories: Play, Arts, Arts & Culture, Passport to the Arts, Museums, Children
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869 Route 6A
Brewster, MA 02631
- Credit Cards: Yes
- Rainy Day Fun: Yes
- Family Friendly: Yes
- Open Year-round: Yes
Committed to educating and providing life-long learning opportunities for all ages. The Museum hosts school visits; operates KidSummer, a classroom and field work experience for ages 3 to 15; supports Wing Island Bird Banding Station; has nature-inspired art exhibits; runs guided field walks; and family nature presentations on Cape Cod ecology. Exhibits include an aquarium, preserved indigenous birds of New England, working observation beehive, and hands-on activities for kids. Explore the Museum's beach, marsh, pond, uplands, and herring run, located in the heart of an extraordinary place.
The Cape Cod Museum of Natural History is proud to present our 2011 exhibit, Birds of Wood: Then and Now and to showcase the craft of five of Cape Cod's finest bird carvers.
Bird carving started as functional creations of working decoys as hunting tools and evolved into decorative art found in museums. The craft of creating bird decoys is considered an original American folk art form. The working decoy was used for hunting to lure wild birds into view. One of the earliest examples is the duck decoy used by American Natives and built from bundles of reeds.
From these early beginnings over a thousand years ago the bird decoy went from simple woodcarvings to the more ornate and decorative pieces seen in this exhibit. No longer were the bird carvings depicted as simply a way to entice game birds into a clearing, now the birds were depicted in their natural setting reacting to their surroundings.
One of the earliest carvers capturing this new approach that included the talents of the naturalist, sculptor, and painter, was Eldridge Arnold of Hyannis Port. Along with this exhibit, we are planning the opening the new Eldridge Arnold Wing off the Marshview Room, a replica of his workshop and exhibit of his carvings, drawings, and many awards.
The works of all these artists truly depict the sense of place that the Museum and Cape Cod represents.