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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.

Lloyd J. Tyler (1898-1971) Crisfield, MD  

Lloyd Tyler carved his first decoy at the age of twelve using a seven-cent spokeshave, a fifteen-cent pocketknife and a twenty-five-cent hatchet (Sorenson, "Tyler" 4). Years later, he realized the potential for a successful carving career. After completing a program at the Toronto art school, Tyler began making decoys during the hunting seasons and doing commercial art during the off seasons. Canada geese and other species common to the area comprised the bulk of Tyler's utilitarian carvings. Tyler selected pieces of wood corresponding to the size of the species he wanted to carve. Using no more than a hatchet, a rasp and a spokeshave, he produced rather crude decoys that nonetheless did the job. As demands for his lures increased, Tyler carved faster and charged more for each decoy. Paint patterns are basic, and he never painted the bottoms, claiming it was a waste of time and paint.

Tyler's carving process sounds slip-shod, but the decoys he produced maintain an aura of realism. Some characteristics mimic those of the Ward brothers, his neighbors across the street, but the price of a Tyler decoy was much lower. He charged seventy¬five cents to a dollar twenty-five for each decoy and twenty cents for each repaint (Sorenson, "Tyler" 4). Tyler supplied numerous local hunters and several hunting clubs. In 1953, Lloyd Tyler retired from carving to focus on collecting and painting when he felt so inclined (Sorenson, "Tyler" 18).