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Wastebasket

ca. 1975 Marian John Born: 1938 longleaf pine needles and raffia 11 7/8 x 9 3/8 in. (30.2 x 23.8 cm) diam. Smithsonian American Art Museum Museum purchase 1975.140 Smithsonian American Art Museum
Luce Foundation Center, 4th Floor, 54B


Luce Center Label

Marian John, a member of the Coushatta tribe of Louisiana, fashioned this basket from longleaf pine needles (native to the state) and raffia. The Coushatta have woven baskets for centuries. The earliest baskets were used either as trade goods or as containers to transport food. To create her pieces, John dries the pine needles for three months to ensure all the moisture is out. She then wraps the needles with raffia and, using only a sewing needle, creates the stitch design. Wastebasket was featured in the Renwick Gallery exhibition Craft Multiples in 1975, which highlighted the work of production craftsmen who created utilitarian objects in multiples of ten or more.

Keywords

decorative arts

Crafts - Fiber

fabric - raffia

plant material - needles