Rooted, Revived, Reinvented: Basketry in America

Above: Detail from coiled feather basket, c. 1890. Sumac, devil’s claw, wool, quail feathers

Rooted, Revived, Reinvented: Basketry in America chronicles a history of American basketry from its origins in Native American, immigrant, and slave communities to its presence within the contemporary fine art world. Baskets convey meaning through the artists’ selection of materials; the techniques they use; and the colors, designs, patterns, and textures they employ. This exhibition is divided into 5 sections: Cultural Origins, New Basketry, Living Traditions, Basket as Vessel, and Beyond the Basket.

Historical baskets were rooted in local landscapes and shaped by cultural traditions. The rise of the industrial revolution and mass production at the end of the nineteenth century led basket makers to create works for new audiences and markets, including tourists, collectors and fine art museums. Today the story continues. Some contemporary artists seek to maintain and revive traditions practiced for centuries. Others combine age-old techniques with nontraditional materials to generate cultural commentary. Still others challenge viewers’ expectations by experimenting with form, materials, and scale.

Rooted, Revived, Reinvented: Basketry in America is the result of a partnership between the National Basketry Organization (NBO) and the University of Missouri Museum of Art and Archaeology, with special assistance from MU’s Departments of Art, Art Education, and Art History and Archaeology. Exhibition catalog available soon.

Exhibition Venues

Museum of Art and Archaeology, University of Missouri
January 28 – May 14, 2017
Columbia, Missouri

108 Contemporary
June 2 – July 23, 2017
Tulsa, Oklahoma

Lauren Rogers Museum of Art
August 22 – November 12, 2017
Laurel, Mississippi

Whatcom Museum
February 3 – May 6, 2018
Bellingham, Washington

Houston Center for Contemporary Craft
June 1 – September 2, 2018
Houston, Texas

South Dakota Art Museum
October 19, 2018 – January 12, 2019
Brookings, South Dakota

Biggs Museum of American Art
February 1 – April 28, 2019
Dover, Delaware

Fuller Craft Museum
May 18 – August 11, 2019
Brockton, Massachusetts

The Ruth Funk Center for Textile Arts at Florida Institute of Technology
September 21 – December 14, 2019
Melbourne, Florida

Right: Cock-a-Doodle-Do, 2013 by Leah Danberg

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