Two Traveling Exhibits Nov. 9

This November the Little Compton Historical Society is pleased to host two traveling exhibits both opening November 9 from 1 to 5 pm at the Wilbor House Museum, 548 West Main Road, Little Compton. They are free and open to the public.

The first exhibition entitled “The Gardner-Dexter Shore Birds Come Home” is a one-day-only event offered just on November 9 from 1 to 5 pm. It is presented courtesy of the Museum of American Bird Art at Mass Audubon and features the work of curator Gigi Hopkins. Ms. Hopkins will speak briefly at 3 pm and there will be a wine a cheese reception from 3 to 5.

Around the turn of the last century Dr. Clarence Gardner and Newton Dexter were deeply involved in Little Compton bird hunting scene and created beautiful painted wooden shorebirds at Dr. Gardner’s Sakonnet Point summer home. Today their work is held in the highest esteem by collectors all over the country. Two of their finest pieces, dowitcher decoys from the collection of Jane and Ron Gard of Texas, will be returning to Little Compton for one afternoon only under the care of Gigi Hopkins, an expert in the field, and the curator of a recent Gardner-Dexter shorebird exhibition at Museum of American Bird Art at Mass Audubon. The two shorebirds will be joined by other bird carvings and decoys generously loaned by local collectors and from the collection of the Little Compton Historical Society. We invite you to bring your antique decoys and painted shorebirds for Ms. Hopkins to review that afternoon. Perhaps you own a Gardner-Dexter without even knowing it!

The same afternoon, the Historical Society is also pleased to present “Extraordinary Women of the East Bay” a traveling exhibit curated by Heidi Benedict, Roger Williams University Archivist. Ms. Benedict will speak briefly at 2 pm. The exhibition features brief biographies illuminating the lives of East Bay Women from the 17th to the 20th centuries and includes five Little Compton women. The exhibition will be available at the Wilbor House Museum at no charge during the Historical Society’s open hours through November 22 and is an excellent introduction to the Historical Society’s own women’s history exhibition scheduled for the summer of 2020. It will feature some sneak previews of the summer exhibition and will offer information on how volunteers can help the Historical Society with the project by sharing the stories of the Little Compton women in their lives.

Reservations are not required.  Both exhibitions are free and open to the public, but donations are always gladly accepted. For more information, please call the Historical Society at 401-635-4035.


Gardner and Dexter’s dowitcher decoys from the collection of Jane and Ron Gard of Texas, image courtesy of the Museum of American Bird Art at Mass Audubon.

Sarah Soule Wilbor, LCHS Collection