Mark Kear (1888-1972) Northfield, New Jersey
Mark Kear is well known for decoys which are well carved and skillfully painted. He is credited with creating fine examples of Barnegat Bay hollow decoys. A Coast Guardsman who retired at an early age, Kear became a boat captain sailing out of Longport, New Jersey. He was a life long neighbor of Mark English (1872 -1968) another regional carver of note.
Kear and another neighbor, Eugene Hendrickson (1896 -1971) a carpenter, boat builder, and carver made decoys using the same patterns. Their work is similar in appearance having a deep smooth dip from the base of the neck to a low smoothly rounded tail. With Kear, the tail tends to extend further back than is seen in other decoys from the area. Both men carved a large number of merganser, black duck, and Canada geese decoys. Kear's painting style is considered quite artistic.
For additional information
Decoys of the Atlantic Flyway, 1974 by George R. Starr.
Decoys of the Mid-Atlantic Region, 1979 by Henry A. Fleckenstein.
New Jersey Decoys, 1983 by Henry A. Fleckenstein.
Working Decoys of the Jersey Coast and Delaware Valley, 1985 by Kenneth L. Gosner.