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909 South Schumaker Drive
Salisbury, MD 21804
410.742.4988

Museum Hours

Mon - Sat: 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Sun: 12 p.m. - 5 p.m.

George D. Runyan (1875 -1922) Bordentown, New Jersey

George Runyan is considered to be one of the finest early Delaware River carvers. A life long resident of Bordentown, Runyan hunted over an area that was for many years a major convergence of flyways on the duck migration routes to Southern migrating grounds. Little detailed information is known about Runyan's life, but it is assumed that like may subsistence hunters, he made decoys for his own use and other hunters who frequented the area.

Bordentown is located midway in the Delaware Valley wildfowl region that stretches from just South of Trenton to Merchantville, 25 mites down river and across from Philadelphia. It is this close proximity to Philadelphia that has added to some confusion about the provenance of decoys made by Runyan and other area carvers. At times, their work has been attributed to John Blair, Jr. (1881-1953), who lived in Philadelphia. Blair appears to have painted his decoys in a distinctive styte not found with Runyan and other members of the "Bordentown."

Runyan is credited with about 70 black duck and scaup decoys which are smoothly sculpted without wing carvings.

 

For additional information

Collecting Antique Bird Decoys 1992 by Carl F. Luckey.

Decoys - A North American Survey, 1983 by Gene and Andy Kangas.

Rotating Sculpture - The Decoys of the Delaware River, 1982 by Harrison H. Huster and Doug Knight.

The Great Book of Witdfowl Decoys, 1990 by Joe Engers, Ed. Working Decoys of the Jersey Coast and the Delaware Valley, 1985 by Kenneth L. Gosner.