Tribe of Baskets
1970 Ed Rossbach Born: Chicago, Illinois 1914 Died: Berkeley, California 2002 polyethylene 8 x 6 x 6 1/4 in. (20.4 x 15.3 x 15.9 cm) Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of the artist 1992.46B Not currently on view
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Ed Rossbach taught himself the technique of “plaiting,” or interweaving, in the late 1960s and early 1970s. He used this method to create wall hangings and baskets out of a wide variety of natural grasses and palm leaves, as well as from plastic tubing, as here in Tribe of Baskets. The artist created similar groups of baskets out of diagonally plaited cotton or foil. The title of this piece refers to the familial grouping of pieces, but may also have been Rossbach’s way of poking fun at the “serious” artists who insisted on keeping indigenous Native American basketmaking traditions at the forefront.
Crafts - Fiber
plastic - polyethylene