Coiled Basket (Primary Title)
As native peoples were increasingly confined to a system of reservations in the late 19th century, they found few opportunities to make a living. Many came to rely on the barter and sale of traditional crafts. Potters, weavers, leather makers, silversmiths, and basket weavers found varying degrees of success in the growing tourist market. European-American collectors, with increasing access to remote territories, began to differentiate the products and styles of particular cultures and artisans. Several eastern painters – including Robert Henri, Marsden Hartley, Max Weber, Milton Avery, and Georgia O’Keeffe – found inspiration in the indigenous artwork.
During this era, Native American artisans rarely signed their work; pottery Maria Martinez and members of her family are among the exceptions. The names of most others – like the Western Apache weaver of this handsome coiled basket - have been lost to obscurity.
In the nearby Native American gallery there are additional baskets by Apache artists, lent to the museum by noted collectors Robert and Nancy Nooter.
Some object records are not complete and do not reflect VMFA's full and current knowledge. VMFA makes routine updates as records are reviewed and enhanced.