Museum PR Announcements News and Information

Renwick Gallery Announces Exhibition Showcasing Contemporary American Basketry

The exhibition “A Measure of the Earth: The Cole-Ware Collection of American Baskets” explores the revival of traditional basketry in America during the past 50 years through works by 63 contemporary basketmakers. Made between 1983 and 2011, the 105 baskets on display demonstrate the endurance of indigenous, African and European basket-weaving traditions in the United States as well as interpretations of the craft by individual makers. The exhibition will be on view at the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum from Oct. 4 through Dec. 8.

The exhibition celebrates the gift of 79 baskets to the museum by the noted collectors Martha G. Ware and Steven R. Cole, and the promised gift of 20 more. The gift more than doubles the museum’s collection of contemporary baskets, making it one of the leading public collections of this craft. Nearly all of the works in the exhibition will be on public display for the first time. Nicholas R. Bell, The Fleur and Charles Bresler Curator of American Craft and Decorative Art, organized the exhibition.

The Smithsonian American Art Museum celebrates the vision and creativity of Americans with artworks in all media spanning more than three centuries. The museum’s branch for craft and decorative art, the Renwick Gallery, is located on Pennsylvania Avenue at 17th Street N.W. It is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (closed Dec. 25). Admission is free. Metrorail station: Farragut North (Red line) and Farragut West (Blue and Orange lines). Follow the museum on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Flickr, ArtBabble, iTunes and YouTube. Museum information (recorded): (202) 633-7970. Smithsonian information: (202) 633-1000. Website: