John Updike (1886-1955) Green Bank, NJ
John Updike, better known as "Jack," lived on the Mullica River where he made his living as a painter and carpenter. He built bateaus, garveys and sneakboxes and crafted decoys from cedar. His style of carving is distinctly of the Tuckerton school, but his decoy characteristics contrast quite a bit. Some decoys have external weights whereas others have the internal weights that were poured as molten lead into the wood itself. Updike carved decoys with both flat and rounded bottoms and either painted on the eyes or inserted glass ones. Sometimes he carved the bill, but other times he left it smooth. Generally, the quality of Updike's birds are considered a step below that of the Tuckerton school. The decoys' heads seem lumpy and small in comparison to the average- to large-sized bodies they are attached to, but Updike was still able to produce high quality stools. Besides carving decoys, John Updike collected them and became one of the first true collectors.