Visit the Atlantic Wildfowl Heritage Museum at Virginia Beach

If you love birds and art, you will enjoy a visit to the Atlantic Wildfowl Heritage Museum.  This wonderful museum is located in an historic cottage right on the oceanfront at Virginia Beach.  It is the ideal setting for displaying artifacts and artwork depicting the wide variety of wildfowl that migrate through Eastern Virginia each year. It is also a tribute and historical overview of a traditional American art form, bird carving. 

Six exhibits of a variety of decoys and bird carvings are housed at the Atlantic Wildfowl Heritage Museum. The Art Gallery elegantly displays paintings and prints as well as carvings of wildfowl. The works of many talented artists are included in this display.  You can see beautiful bird paintings by Beverly Abbot, incredible waterfowl art by Raymond Bell, and delightful depictions of waterfowl as well as Labradors by Jane Partin among other renowned wildlife artists.

In the Main Gallery at the Atlantic Wildfowl Heritage Museum, you’ll see decoys carved by talented artists such as Pete Peterson, Mark McNair, Bud Coppedge and Reggie Birch.  You will enjoy discovering the hallmark traits of these artists as you view an incredible diversity of carved waterfowl decoys. Duck and geese decoys are predominantly featured in the Main Gallery.

The Edgar Brown Exhibit on the second floor of the Atlantic Wildfowl Heritage Museum depicts the development of Virginia Beach in photographs.  This is a captivating display for anyone interested in local history as well as those who merely enjoy exploring pictorial representations of the past.  In the Contemporary Section of the Museum, you can see a variety of artwork including  wooden carvings and paintings related to waterfowl and other birds.

Many of the artists contributing artwork in the Contemporary Section as well as other areas of the Museum give carving demonstrations and are available to answer visitors’ questions daily.  These volunteer artists provide you with a unique opportunity to gain insight into this unique art form.

In addition to the indoor exhibits at the Atlantic Wildfowl Heritage Museum, you can also explore two outbuildings plus a lovely seaside garden area.  The Library is actually the first library ever established at Virginia Beach, and it contains artifacts as well as books from the 1930s to 1940s.  Carving classes and demonstrations are held at the Boathouse, and visitors can meet carvers working there daily.

The seaside garden at the Atlantic Wildfowl Heritage Museum is a stunning display of flowers, trees and plants.  There is also a beautiful bronze wildfowl sculpture on display outside of the Museum Cottage.

The Atlantic Wildfowl Heritage Museum features a wonderful gift shop offering everything from birding and carving books to art, posters, toys and jewelry.  Beautiful hand carved decoys are also available for sale.