This Totemic Series Covered Jar (originally known as Turned Covered Jar with Sculpture) is one of a series of five related pieces made by Mark Lindquist in the 1970s. These pieces went beyond the tradition of wooden covered jars, which Lindquist also made during that time, merging the concepts of utility (the covered jar) and formal sculptural ideals (stacking, sculptural form, and aesthetic function). Mark Lindquist created this series in his Henniker, New Hampshire woodturning studio.

The late 1970s was a period of peak productivity for Lindquist, as he continued exploring the expression of sculptural ideals through the wooden vessel form and exhibiting his work through craft organizations, including the League of New Hampshire Craftsmen and the American Craft Council. He introduced concepts such as the natural edge bowl, the captive bowl, and the full bowl, that were at first disconcerting to the craft audience, but received recognition by galleries and museum curators and have since become mainstays of the contemporary woodturning movement. His 1976 piece, Brancusi Cup, which combines the concepts of stacking and the natural edge bowl, was acquired by the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1978, as were his Lapping Wavelet Bowl and two pieces by his father, Melvin.

Lindquist created Totemic Series Covered Jar in 1977. Of all the small turned sculptures Lindquist created in his studio from 1971-1980, he felt the stacked covered jar forms were among the most exciting, showing the potential for his turned wood sculpture to increase to human scale. Covered Jar, and the other pieces in its series, presaged the development of the large turned and stacked sculptures (six to eight feet in height) Lindquist made in the 1980s. These "Totemic Series Sculptures" are in the collections of the Dallas Museum of Art, Yale University, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, and many others.

While focusing on larger sculptures in later years, Lindquist has not neglected the pursuit of his vision through turning smaller works, and many of these works have also found homes in major museums. One of these pieces, his 1994 So Long Frank Lloyd Wright Bowl, continues the tradition of Totemic Series Covered Jar  by commenting on the major concepts of utility, form, and sculptural expression in a deceptively small piece, approximately eight inches high. This piece is in the collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.

Melvin and Mark Lindquist introduced spalted wood into the woodturning lexicon beginning in the mid-1960s. Melvin had discovered spalted wood on his land in the upstate New York Adirondacks.  (See Spalted Wood The Movie).  After establishing his studio in New Hampshire in 1969, Mark used a variety of spalted hardwoods that he found in and around Henniker. The spalted elm burl used for Totemic Series Covered Jar came from a fallen Great American Elm Tree that Lindquist discovered on his property.


Mark Lindquist Totemic Covered Jar  |  Spoonerism  |  Captive of the Spoon  |  3 Spoons  |  Sculptural Spoon




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