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Seattle Art Museum (SAM)

Covered Jar

Covered Jar

1940s or 1950s

Paul Bonifas

Swiss (active in France and the United States), 1893 - 1967

An Offering: Vessels and Votives in Contemporary Ceramics

Shaping humble clay into transcendent forms fit for the divine is a tradition as old as ceramics themselves. Drawing inspiration from the ancient vernacular of forms and techniques, contemporary artists work with clay to create sculpture that, to our eyes, is both instinctively familiar and unexpectedly fresh.

In the first half of the twentieth century, Paul Bonifas relied on classical forms to achieve modern design. He believed in a limited canon of “perfect” forms, defined in the ancient past, a philosophy which materializes in his work in the 1940s and 1950s. Embellished by modeled faces and figures, Covered Jar refers to a ceramic tradition practiced in Persia (Iran) 5,000 years ago.
Diameter.: 8 1/8 in.
Gift of Otto Seligman
Not currently on view

Seattle Art Museum acknowledges that we are on the traditional homelands of the Duwamish and the customary territories of the Suquamish and Muckleshoot Peoples. As a cultural and educational institution, we honor our ongoing connection to these communities past, present, and future. We also acknowledge the urban Native peoples from many Nations who call Seattle their home.

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