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Native American baskets have stories to tell us about cultural traditions and history. Baskets are ingenious objects that are enriched with a myriad of human associations. Despite significant changes in basketry due to contact with Euro-Americans in the 19th century, basketry was revived and reinvented by Native Americans in the 20th century. Today artists create traditional forms and conceptual artwork. Over five weeks we will examine distinctive examples from five geographic regions. Topics for discussion will include ancient myths, history, ethnobotany, basketry techniques, regional designs, and cultural anthropology. In videos you will hear directly from artists about traditional practices of gathering and processing materials, personal philosophies, and the importance of basketry to Native American communities today.
INSTRUCTOR: Catherine Hunter was a museum curator, educator, and consultant for over twenty years. She received a B.A. in History of Art from Cornell University and began her career as a curator in the Department of Textiles at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Catherine has a lifelong interest in studying the overlap of art, culture, and science. She has studied basketmaking, published feature articles for the National Basketry Organization, and worked as a Research Associate with Native American basketry collections at the Robert S. Peabody Institute of Archaeology in Andover, Massachusetts.
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Worcester Institute for Senior Education (WISE)Assumption University, 500 Salisbury Street, Worcester MA 01609