SALISBURY — The Ward Museum opens a new exhibit “Oliver ‘Tuts’ Lawson: A Retrospective” this Friday, Sept. 24 with a reception 5 to 7 p.m.
This debut display features pieces that tell the story of a living legend among decoy carvers. From his days as a teenager carving birds using strawberry baskets found while working at a grocery store in Crisfield to eclectic commissions and the many masterful birds made over a lifetime of dedication to craft, this exhibit in the LaMay Gallery is rich with beautiful work and a unique history rooted in local cultural tradition.
Tuts Lawson was not just a close friend of fellow Crisfielders Lem and Steve Ward, he also worked beside them, helping them to fill their orders. He was a friend, colleague, and confidant of the Ward family.
He will be at the museum Friday to meet with guests and visitors.
“Lawson is a direct line to the history and knowledge of the Ward brothers, a keeper of the knowledge and traditions that helped to shape the field of wildfowl carving,” a Ward Museum spokesperson said. “He is also a founder of the Ward Foundation, seeking to honor his dear friends and their legacy.”
The exhibit showcases the extent of Lawson’s illustrious career as a carver with more than 50 unique carvings. In 2018 he was named a Ward Foundation Living Legend. The exhibit will be on display until Jan. 23, 2022.
The Ward Museum of Wildfowl Art is located at 909 S Schumaker Drive in Salisbury. Phone 410-742-4988 or visit www.wardmuseum.org for more details.