West Central Illinois Duck Decoy Carving Survey (Gregory Hansen) Collection and Schuyler Arts Folk Music Project Collection, 1987



Folklorist Gregory Hansen conducted the fieldwork for the duck decoy carver survey, while Fieldworker Chris Vallillo conducted the 1987 survey of folk music in Schuyler County and surrounding areas.

Project History

The Gregory Hansen Collection contains documentation of duck decoy carvers in June-July 1987 that supported creation of the exhibit, “Woodcarving in Western Illinois: Expressions in Attitude,” which showed at Western Illinois University's art gallery, c.1988. The project was created by WIU in conjunction with the Illinois Arts Council. Hansen was hired as a contract fieldworker and documented, through recorded interviews and photographs, more than 30 carvers, including Carmen LeMaster, widow of duck-carving great Richard LeMaster (“The LeMaster Method”). This collection is designated VFM-186.

The Schuyler Arts Folk Music Collection was created by the Schuyler Arts Council in conjunction with the Illinois Arts Council and the Library of Congress. Fieldworker Chris Vallillo documented 19 area singers, fiddlers, guitarists, harmonica players, hammered dulcimer players, instrument makers, and square dance callers, May-July 1987. The folk music survey was done primarily in Schuyler County, with a few interviews held in Fulton, Brown, and Scott counties. This collection is designated VFM-190.