Sucker Decoy

  • Oscar Peterson, Sucker Decoy, ca. 1930s, carved and painted wood, painted galvanized iron sheet, painted ferrous tack eyes, painted lead weights, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Alastair B. Martin, 1999.67.23

Luce Center Label

Carved fish decoys are one of the earliest forms of American folk art. Hunters around the Bering Sea first used small bone or ivory decoys for ice fishing around 1000 AD. They believed that the decoys embodied the innua, or inner spirit of the fish. The practice spread to upstate New York and the Great Lakes, where it became a tourist industry with many communities growing around prime fishing areas. Ice fishing was banned in 1905, however, because the popularity of the sport had brought about a serious decline in large game fish.

Title
Sucker Decoy
Artist
Date
ca. 1930s
On View
Dimensions
2 x 9 1/4 x 2 1/2 in. (5.0 x 23.5 x 6.2 cm)
Credit Line

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Gift of Alastair B. Martin

Mediums
Mediums Description
carved and painted wood, painted galvanized iron sheet, painted ferrous tack eyes, painted lead weights
Classifications
Keywords
  • Animal – fish
Object Number
1999.67.23
Palette
Linked Open Data
Linked Open Data URI

More from artist

ca. 1935-1944
carved and painted wood and metal
ca. 1920s
carved and painted wood, brass sheet, painted ferrous tack eyes, ferrous eye hook, and painted lead weight
ca. 1930s
carved, painted, and varnished wood; painted plated iron sheet; painted ferrous tacks; and lead weights

More Artworks from the Collection

ca. 1940s
carved, incised, and painted wood; tinned iron sheet; ferrous wire; and lead weight
ca. 1930s
carved and painted wood, tinned and painted iron sheet metal, and lead weights
ca. 1920s
carved and painted wood, brass sheet, painted ferrous tack eyes, ferrous eye hook, and painted lead weight
20th century
carved wood, galvanized iron sheet, ferrous eye hook, and lead weight