Paul F. Whitten, Nantucket Lightship Shopping Basket, 1971, oak, ivory, metal, rattan, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Museum purchase, 1975.143
Paul Whitten crafted this sturdy rattan basket after the style of the Nantucket lightship basket, one of the most popular and widely recognized regional styles of basketry in the world. The lightship basket originated in the nineteenth century, woven by crew members manning lightships off the coast of Nantucket Island, Massachusetts, to occupy their months-long sojourns at sea. Whitten refers to his creations as "friendship baskets," because of the close relationships that form through the intimate nature of customizing a basket for each customer.
Nantucket Lightship Shopping Basket
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13 x 14 3/4 x 10 1/2 in. (33.0 x 37.4 x 26.6 cm)
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Smithsonian American Art Museum
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