Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum


Visitor Experience

Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum
213 N. Talbot St.
P.O. Box 636
St. Michaels, MD 21663

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The Museum’ special exhibitions often bring together artwork and artifacts from the Museum’s collection and private collections. Exhibitions change throughout the year, so there's always something new to see!


Carvers ExhibitCarvers at the Crossroads:
Sharing Ideas, Techniques and Styles
Across the Chesapeake's Susquehanna Flats

April 12, 2014 through November, 2014
Waterfowling Building, Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum

The Chesapeake Bay’s Susquehanna Flats were a mecca for waterfowl hunting in the late 19th and early 20th century. At the confluence of the Susquehanna River and the Chesapeake Bay, the rich bottom grasses and shallow open water provided the perfect habitat for millions of migratory ducks and geese that drew sportsmen and market hunters alike to the
region’s small waterfront towns. In these communities of Maryland’s Cecil and Harford counties, decoy carvers of all kinds of skill levels and walks of life worked to keep up with the demand for expansive decoy rigs to harvest the blizzards of wildfowl. Although most carvers developed a unique, identifiable style, decoy construction or decoration styles had a way of flowing between counties, towns, and even states because of connections between different craftsmen- familial ties, friendship, and sometimes just fancy. 
In the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum’s upcoming exhibit, “Carvers at the Crossroads: Sharing Ideas, Techniques and Styles Across the Chesapeake’s Susquehanna Flats,” the stories and connections between these early 20th century carvers will be told through artifacts, photographs, and above all, the decoys they created. Like Leonard Pryor, a Chesapeake City carver whose elegant birds communicated influences both deeply local and surprisingly distant, “Carvers at the Crossroads” will connect visitors with a period in Chesapeake history when the carving techniques and skills of the Susquehanna Flats were as abundant and nomadic as the canvasbacks, pintails, and blackheads they artfully rendered.

Navigating Freedom: The War of 1812 on the Chesapeake

Special Member's Preview- Saturday, May 11, 2013
Steamboat Gallery

Explore the impact of the War of 1812 on the people of the Chesapeake—black and white Americans, militiamen,
Baltimore merchants, and British sailors who found
opportunity or misfortune amid the conflict.
The exhibit features stories, artwork, and rare relics of the period.

Download Press Release

Pictured right: "Admiral Cockburn burning and plundering
Havre de Grace on the 1st of June 1813." Attributed to
William Charles, ca 1813. Hambleton Print Collection.
Used with permission from the Maryland Historical Society.


Push and Pull: Life on Chesapeake Bay Tugboats
April 21, 2012 through 2014
Open daily in the Steamboat Gallery, downstairs

Food, fuel, and all the stuff of modern life – almost nothing moves on the Chesapeake Bay without tugboats. The men and women who work on tugs docking ships and moving barges do difficult, sometimes dangerous work with rules and rhythms all its own. Explore their world in Push and Pull: Life on Chesapeake Bay Tugboats through the stories, images, and objects of the Bay’s tugboats and the words of the people who work them.

Click here to view pictures from our opening and to take
a sneak peak at the exhibit.

Exhibit sponsored by
Lesley & Fred Israel
Kay & Bob Perkins
Wye Financial & Trust
CSX Corporation
Dann Marine Towing
McAllister Towing & Transportation
Moran Towing Corporation