Basket bowl

Louisa Keyser Washoe

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 746

Great Basin peoples revered the unique semi-desert landscape between the Rocky and the Sierra Nevada Mountains by producing practical containers out of the diverse grasses found there. Datsolalee was a pioneer of basket weaving at the turn of the twentieth century. She is known for departing from traditional Washoe forms and imagery by creating iconic monumental containers with syncopated patterns, such as this one with offset rows of flame motifs. The dark fern root fibers contrast with the redbud shoots and the willow background to create a striking visual experience. Using the coiling technique with such materials, she infused an everyday object with extraordinary beauty.

Basket bowl, Louisa Keyser (Washoe, ca. 1831-1925), Willow and redbud shoots, bracken root, and dye, Washoe, Native American

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