Owl Decoy

  • Unidentified, Owl Decoy, early 20th century, carved and painted wood, leather, and glass, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Herbert Waide Hemphill, Jr. and museum purchase made possible by Ralph Cross Johnson, 1986.65.59

Luce Center Label

North American hunters have used decoys for centuries. Native Americans made decoys from reeds, clay, and stuffed skins to lure migrating birds within range of their arrows or spears. European pioneers adopted this technique, and by the early nineteenth century both commercial and sport hunters used carved wooden decoys. Craftsmen shape and decorate decoys either to imitate the desired bird’s prey or “trick” them into thinking it is safe to land.

Title
Owl Decoy
Artist
Date
early 20th century
Location
Dimensions
14 1/2 x 5 1/4 x 5 1/4 in. (36.8 x 13.3 x 13.3 cm.)
Credit Line

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Gift of Herbert Waide Hemphill, Jr. and museum purchase made possible by Ralph Cross Johnson

Mediums
Mediums Description
carved and painted wood, leather, and glass
Classifications
Keywords
  • Animal – bird – owl
Object Number
1986.65.59
Palette
Linked Open Data
Linked Open Data URI

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