Luce Foundation Center for American Art
Craft: Fiber: Basket
paper, wood, wire
8 5/8 x 8 3/4 in. (21.9 x 22.2 cm) diam.
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Theodore Cohen in memory of his mother and her sisters, Rose Melmon Cohen, Blanche Melmon, Mary Melmon Greenberg, and Fanny Melmon Liberman
The body of this basket, which has been built up out of handmade paper on a wire armature, has an organic and delicate appearance. Marion Hildebrandt supported the basket by attaching at the top a thin wooden band held in place by wire and small sticks. The contrast between the mottled body of the vessel and the smooth superstructure evokes the cliff dwellings of the Southwest rising up out of the rock, while the reinforcing clasps around the top suggest a circle of Native American dancers.