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1987 John McQueen Born: Oakland, Illinois 1943 tied red osier sticks 12 1/2 in. (31.8 cm) diam. Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of Jane and Arthur K. Mason on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the Renwick Gallery 1996.98.7 Not currently on view

Luce Center Quote

"Silence is the domain of plants as language is the domain of humans." Vicki Halper, speaking of John McQueen's work, 1992

Luce Center Label

Touch expresses what one scholar has called John McQueen's "belief . . . in the tree as the spirit of man." He has built a structure from different colors of willow twigs to suggest skin, arteries, and veins, as if the tree were mutating into a human being. The artist often includes words in his objects to complicate what we see. In this piece, the word "touch" appears in the protrusions near the top, emphasizing both the tactile quality of the basket and the physical effort of the artist as he built it.


Object - written matter

decorative arts

Crafts - Wood

wood - osier