The natural beauty of islands inspires artists in their creativity and Tilghman’s Island is no exception.
Located at the end of the Bay Hundred peninsula on the Eastern Shore of Maryland in the middle of the Chesapeake Bay, Tilghman’s Island is less than three miles long, a mile wide, and has seen 13,000 years of human habitation. The first English settlers arrived in 1656. During the nineteenth century the island became a center for the booming oyster trade creating new wealth. Fine Victorian houses were built; there were several schools, stores, a movie house, bowling alley and multiple boarding houses. The island spawned the growth of the Tilghman Packing Company and a robust boat building industry.The economy thrived. The first decades of the 20th century were good years. Dozens on skipjacks made Dogwood harbor their homeport. Tilghman’s Island became a preeminent watermen’s community.
Now, harvests are declining, older watermen are retiring, and the younger watermen are turning away from the water. The former site of the Tilghman Packing Company has become a residential community. Today, the Island offers an eclectic blend of the traditional and modern; preserved historical culture combines with a contemporary lifestyle. TIlghman’s Island has long been the destination for waterfowling and sport fishing, but now in greater numbers, “heritage tourists” find an authentic Chesapeake Bay experience.
Throughout its history the island has attracted many talented artists who continue to be inspired by the island’s magic. Today their art continues to be a mirror reflecting the islands history, culture and heritage. Fulfilling their mission of celebrating the heritage and culture of Tilghman’s Island through oral histories, art of the island and tools of the trade. The museum is pleased to welcome the 2014 Plein Air artists to the 2014 Tilghman Pre- Plein Air paint out.