Houston Center for Contemporary Craft is pleased to present Rooted, Revived, Reinvented: Basketry in America, an exhibition chronicling the history of American basketry, from its origins in Native American, immigrant, and slave communities to its presence within the contemporary fine-art world. Visitors will delight in the variety of colors, patterns, shapes, and textures of the baskets on view, which range from traditional to highly unconventional and explore diverse cultural histories.
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 19th 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, while many combine age-old techniques with nontraditional materials to generate cultural commentary. Others challenge viewers’ expectations by experimenting with form, materials, and scale.
Divided into five sections—Cultural Origins, New Basketry, Living Traditions, Basket as Vessel, and Beyond the Basket—the show explores the variety of meanings and stories baskets convey through the artists’ selections of materials, techniques, colors, designs, and textures. HCCC Curator Kathryn Hall commented, “We are excited to partner with the National Basketry Organization and the University of Missouri to provide this in-depth look at the history of American basketry, which unites tradition and process with innovation and design. Basketry is a craft practice that, while recognized universally for its function, maintains distinct identities and ties to various regions and groups of people, giving woven objects the unique power to connect communities and ideas.”
Rooted, Revived, Reinvented: Basketry in America is a collaborative endeavor between the National Basketry Organization and the University of Missouri, curated by Jo Stealey and Kristin Schwain and generously sponsored in part by the National Basketry Organization; University of Missouri; the Windgate Charitable Foundation; the Center for Craft, Creativity, and Design; and numerous private donors.