The Ward Museum of Wildfowl Art Legacy Center
The Ward Museum of Wildfowl Art Legacy Center, the nation’s preeminent museum dedicated to wildfowl carving and related arts and culture located in Salisbury, Maryland, reevaluated their overall mission and determined that an emphasis on education was to be a new priority. Their current facility, which was designed by Davis, Bowen and Friedel, Inc. (DBF), and opened to the public in 1991, spotlighted the Ward Foundation’s notable collection, along with the history and evolution of wildfowl carving. The Foundation determined that their patrons sought related learning opportunities: the art of carving, youth activities, cultural and heritage exploration, and the like.
Officially named the John A. Luetkemeyer Sr. and Thomas F. Mullan Jr. Legacy Center, the new single-story events’ space was designed as a “lighter” form when compared to the original structure, preserving a more transparent feel in what was originally planned as outdoor space. The resultant addition’s roof and ceiling soars in a somewhat similar fashion to the museum’s lobby, bringing in natural light and a magnificent view of Schumaker Pond (and the abundant wildlife in its natural habitat) – an ideal learning environment for the center.
The space is multi-functional: it can be divided into three smaller classrooms or opened into one for a number of activities, including lectures, social events or other uses designed to celebrate the art and heritage of wildfowl art. Materials utilized in the addition match the original building and, as prevalent in the building and in the art itself, exposed wood structural members highlight the overall experience. New support facilities were also provided with the addition, and renovations to the museum’s kitchen and catering areas were completed as well.