Maritime Museum Announces Two New Exhibits in Two Months

Like so many of our beloved maritime museums, the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum (CBMM) was forced to close its doors for months at the height of the pandemic. Now, CBMM is making up for lost time, unveiling two new exhibits in the next two months for socially-distanced visitors to enjoy.

Opening this Friday, August 14, a new waterfowling exhibition spotlights the overlap between boat building and decoy carving.

Decoy, pattern, and adze made and used by Leonard Pryor of Cecil County. Adze and pattern, collection of Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, 2006.6.38, .75. Decoy, collection of Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum.

The exhibition, titled Adze to Whittling Knife: Chesapeake Boatbuilders as Decoy Carvers, looks at the handful of boatbuilders who used their carpentry skills to produce both boats and decoys. They range from the prolific Susquehanna Flats carvers to those who produced decoys on a smaller scale.

“The stories go back more than a century about craftsmen who built boats and had a sideline in decoys as well,” said CBMM Chief Curator Pete Lesher.

In late September, CBMM will add another exhibit that tells stories of the Chesapeake Bay. 40 years’ worth of images by photographer David Harp will be on display in the museum’s Steamboat Building gallery (and also viewable virtually).

Where Land and Water Meet: The Chesapeake Bay Photography of David W. Harp shows a broad range of the natural world in the Bay region, inspired by shorelines, communities, habitats, and traditional worklife where culture and nature connect.

Harp’s body of work includes black and white film shots of legendary skipjacks, portraits of captains and crew, and contemporary landscapes and wildlife. He takes his photos on food, by kayak, and by air.

“Dave Harp has a long and varied career, and his naturalist’s eye provides an unparalleled perspective on the interdependence of communities, land and water along the Chesapeake,” said Jenifer Dolde, Associate Curator of Collections.

Where Land and Water Meet will be on display from September 25, 2020 through September 20, 2021.

Entry to both exhibits is free with paid museum admission. CBMM requires everyone on its campus to follow the Town of St. Michaels requirements of facial coverings inside buildings and outdoors when within six feet of other guests. You can read about additional precautions CBMM is taking for health and comfort at

-Meg Walburn Viviano