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Luce Foundation Center for American Art

Craft: Fiber: Basket

Ed Rossbach

(born Chicago, IL 1914 -- died Berkeley, CA 2002)

"[My baskets] . . . are more satisfying when I see them only occasionally. Ive heard that some people feel that way about their children." Ed Rossbach, 1997

Ed Rossbach began making baskets out of tundra grasses while stationed in the Aleutians during World War II, and went on to earn a Master of Fine Arts degree from Cranbrook Academy on the GI Bill. Like Pat Hickman and Lillian Elliott, he became part of the Bay Area fiber arts movement of the 1960s and 1970s, challenging traditional forms and media in basketmaking. He used plastic, metal, food cartons, and old newspapers to express his delight in American popular culture. A carefully crafted basket made out of trash was Rossbachs challenge to his audience to rediscover the joy of doing, of creating something of no value that was still beautiful.