The Center for American Decoys

Img 20200703 161148

The Center for American Decoys

The Center for American Decoys is dedicated to preserving the traditions of American waterfowl history through the art of the decoy. Located in the Illinois River Valley, among some of the greatest waterfowl hunting habitats in history, the Center for American Decoys aims to showcase many of the most notable decoy carvers from across the country, with a particular emphasis on carvers from the Illinois River Valley.

Visit the Center for American Decoys on Facebook and Instagram .

Now Open! Masterworks of the Illinois River | Collection of Thomas K. Figge

The Center for American Decoys is proud to present Masterworks of the Illinois River: The Collection of Thomas K. Figge. This new exhibition includes many of the greatest examples of Illinois River decoys in existence and it also includes six beautiful hanging game scenes from modern master Cameron McIntyre.


Help us build the finest permanent decoy show in the home of some of our finest carvers! Donate to the Center for American Decoys at the Peoria Riverfront Museum. To give, click here!

The Peoria Riverfront Museum gratefully acknowledges the major support of Bon & Holly French and the Taylor French Decoy Fund for the Center for American Decoys.

Ca Decoys5

American Decoy | The Invention

Prm Decoybook

Own the landmark book on the greatest collection of decoys ever assembled! 

Order your first edition "American Decoy: The Invention" online today!

See the decoy exhibition deemed by national collectors and scholars as the greatest show of decoys ever assembled, through the "American Decoy: The Invention" exhibition book. This extraordinary hardcover edition published by Peoria Riverfront Museum celebrates the first-ever museum exhibition of its kind with more than 200 pages of full-color, high-resolution images of the hundreds of world-class American waterfowl decoys in the exhibition and more that were assembled from the country’s most respected collectors and institutions. The photographs are accompanied by descriptive text and insightful information into the lives of the pioneering carving legends whose work was shown, including Charles Schoenheider Sr., Elmer Crowell, Charles Perdew, the Caines Brothers, Lee Dudley, Charles “Shang” Wheeler and many others. 208 pages, 11 x 9-in.

The wooden bird decoy is an American innovation and one of the foremost expressions of American folk art. American Decoy: The Invention is a testament to America’s rich waterfowl decoy carving history and celebrates the legendary carvers that gave it shape.
— Zac Zetterberg, Curator, The Center for American Decoys

WTVP's The Art of Deception

The Artof Deception

WTVP's ‘The Art of Deception,’ in collaboration with the Peoria Riverfront Museum, looks at hand-carved decoys as an underappreciated form of American folk art. Although the golden age of carving decoys ended with the age of plastics making cheaper and lighter decoys, the art form is still practiced today across the Illinois River Valley. Narrated by Doug Oberhelman.

View WTVP's 'The Art of Deception' - click here!

Subscribe for Decoy Club Email Updates

By subscribing to this email you will receive updates from curator Zac Zetterberg regarding the Center for American Decoys and all things waterfowl and folk art related.

Marketing by