Nantucket Lightship Shopping Basket

  • Paul F. Whitten, Nantucket Lightship Shopping Basket, 1971, rattan, oak, ivory, and metal, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Museum purchase, 1975.143

Luce Center Label

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. This work is one of two thousand Whitten made before retiring at the age of eighty.

Title
Nantucket Lightship Shopping Basket
Artist
Date
1971
Location
Not on view
Dimensions
13 x 14 3/4 x 10 1/2 in. (33.0 x 37.4 x 26.6 cm)
Credit Line

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Museum purchase

Mediums
Mediums Description
rattan, oak, ivory, and metal
Classifications
Object Number
1975.143
Palette
Linked Open Data
Linked Open Data URI

More Artworks from the Collection