The Decoy Artist, America's Last Hunter-Carver, Hardcover, color, 272 pages; 150 illustrations; Pelican Publishing Company; 2010.
Like hunters themselves, waterfowl decoys reflect the history, the passion, and the pursuit of a way of life. True decoys are tools first, only transcending to artwork with the effectiveness of their form. As the hunter carves, pieces of him are inevitably ingrained in the wood, emanating his spirit and connecting the man to nature as no other act can.
In a story of true Americana, world-class decoy carver Vincent Giannetto III comes of age at a critical time in the history of the Delaware region. Vincent’s boyhood dream is to become a river rat, living off the land, pursuing waterfowl and surviving by his own skills. Skipping school to spend time on the river, he watches the hunter-carvers, learning the role of waterfowl decoys while struggling to make his own without guidance from these secretive men, and realizing the relationship that exists between man, wildlife, and the environment. As Vincent matures from boy to man, he yearns for a life on the river and the freedom that it brings, but living outside the norms of society has its costs.
Recognized as one of the country’s most skilled artisans, Vincent has been a guest of the White House, where his work was displayed on the White House Christmas tree and subsequently placed in the Smithsonian Institute. His story is that of a man who lived his dream despite the odds. An elegy for a time now forgotten, it captures the true beauty of a uniquely American culture.
“The Decoy Artist does with words what I have always tried to do with paint, bring to life the beauty of waterfowl and the spirit of the men who pursue them. It tells the true story of these legendary men through the life Vincent Giannetto, III, of one of today’s finest decoy carvers.”
- Rob Leslie, 18-time State Duck Stamp Artist & 1996 International Ducks Unlimited Artist of the Year
“Every waterfowler wishes his passion were a lifestyle. The great carvers made it so. The Decoy Artist provides an intimate look into the life and times of renowned carver, Vincent Giannetto, III, by one of the people that knew him best.”
- Jay Strangis, Editor, American Waterfowler Magazine
“At the Tuckerton Seaport Museum, we strive to preserve and present New Jersey’s rich hunting and decoy carving heritage. The Decoy Artist reveals that legacy and the intimate connection between a man and the river that wove its way through his life and artwork. It’s a tribute to a forgotten heritage that is uniquely American.”
- Jaclyn Stewart, Director Jersey Shore Folklife Center at Tuckerton Seaport
“Who better than the son of this renowned river rat should share with us the twilight of the traditional Delaware River hunters and decoy carvers?”
- Craig Bruns, Curator, Independence Seaport Museum, Philadelphia
To have your copy signed by Vincent Giannetto, select 'autograph' in options when ordering the book.