Thomas Langan was born in 1942. He is a self-taught artist; his first carvings were decoys, known as gunning birds and his style was influenced by the functional design of early American decoys.
Tom began carving full time at age 35 when his subjects grew to include domestic, farm and forest animals; trade signs; whirligigs, salt water fish and weathervanes. Most pieces are life size or larger.
Tom’s Whistling Swan is in the permanent collection of the Museum of American Folk Art in Manhattan. His work has gone on world tour including exhibition at the Smithsonian Institute and at American embassies in Moscow and Bolivia.
As a professional hunting guide in the late 1960’s and 70’s, Tom carved his own gunning rig of approximately 400 birds. The rig represents all species indigenous to the west end of Long Island Sound and it took ten years to complete. The influence of master carvers such as the Ward brothers, Shang Wheeler and Bill Bowman is apparent in the carving. It is interesting to note how Tom’s painting techniques improved as the rig neared completion.