Mint Museum of Art

Charlotte, NC



Mason Collection Coming to Mint Museum of Craft and Design


Mark Lindquist, Totem, 1987

The collection is acclaimed for its personal style as for its artistic, technical and historic importance. "We try to visit each artist in his studio whose work we collect," stated Jane Mason. "We see pieces drying, pieces still on the lathe, learn what is important to each artist and where their inspiration drives them in each piece." Highest tribute comes from the artists themselves. "Every artist that is serious about his work feels that he is giving up a part of himself when he parts with an object," remarked wood turner David Ellsworth, commenting on the Mason Collection. "It's wonderful to know that the energy and joy a piece gives to an artist can also be there for the collector."

Mark Leach, Director of the Mint Museum of Craft & Design, met the Masons at a dinner party in their Washington, D.C. home for glass artist Therman Statom last year. They met again at the annual SOFA (Sculpture, Objects and Functional Art) conference in Miami in April. By then, Leach and Mint Museum CEO Bruce Evans were deep into negotiations with NationsBank for an unprecedented gift of an 82,000 square foot building in Center City Charlotte to be refurbished into a new national craft museum. Typical of their collecting style, the Masons visited Charlotte in June to assess the proposed new facility for themselves. The donation soon followed the announcement of the NationsBank gift. "In making selections for the Mint donation, we chose pieces that represent the breadth of the field from artistic and technical perspectives," stated Leach. "The wealth of the Mason Collection also allowed us to select pieces made over time from an artist to illustrate individual development."


Ron Kent, North Island Pine Bowl, 1987

Arthur and Jane Mason are devoted to educating people about wood turning as an art. Jane, a practicing artist for 20 years before becoming a computer consultant, edited and wrote descriptions for 38 pieces from their collection for a web site (web address: Besides mounting a traveling exhibition of their collection, the Mint Museum of Craft & Design will publish a book on the Mason Collection, along with creating an internet site and a CD-ROM.

Search for more articles and essays on American art in Resource Library. See America's Distinguished Artists for biographical information on historic artists.

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