Chalice (part of a set)

1968
Olaf Skoogfors (American (born in Sweden), 1930–1975)


Object Place: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States

Dimensions

17.8 cm (7 in.)

Accession Number

1999.131.1

Medium or Technique

Cast bronze; gold plated silver interior

On View

Daphne and Peter Farago Gallery (Gallery 258)

Collections

Americas, Contemporary Art

Classifications

Metalwork

The chalice, of cast bronze, is composed of a small circular foot that rises, turning inward slightly toward the bowl, and then opens outward to the rim. A raised silver-gilt cup set inside the bronze form extends above the lip, forming a smooth rim. A rock crystal set into a copper bezel is attached near the foot of the chalice.


This heavy, cast bronze chalice, with its scumbled exterior and projecting crystal, contrasts starkly with the smooth, lightweight paten. The artist’s design choices reflect the taste of the era, in which stylish interiors featured combinations of bold colors and varied textures, and middle-class homes sported long-fibered “shag” carpeting and sleek Scandinavian-style furniture. The chalice’s nubby and distressed surface relates to fiber arts, then an ascendant craft medium, and gives a nod to similar accomplishments by such abstract sculptors of the period as Theodore Roszak, Seymour Lipton, and Herbert Ferber. Olaf Skoogfors often incorporated precious stones into his abstract jewelry compositions. This ecclesiastical service marks an occasion in which the artist applied his jeweler’s aesthetic to hollowware.
This text has been adapted from “Silver of the Americas, 1600-2000,” edited by Jeannine Falino and Gerald W.R. Ward, published in 2008 by the MFA. Complete references can be found in that publication.

Inscription

None.

Markings

Touchmarked "OLAF SKOOGFORS" in incuse letters on exterior rim of chalice.

Provenance

Originally made as a commission but never sold, the chalice and paten descended to the artist’s wife, Judith Skoogfors, who made it a gift.

Credit Line

Gift of Judith Skoogfors

Copyright

Reproduced with permission.