Basket Weavers for the California Curio Trade

Elizabeth and Louise Hickox

Marvin Cohodas (Author)
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The peoples of northwestern Califonia's Lower Klamath River area have long been known for their fine basketry. Two early-twentieth-century weavers of that region, Elizabeth Hickox and her daughter Louise, created especially distinctive baskets that are celebrated today for their elaboration of technique, form, and surface designs.

Marvin Cohodas now explores the various forces that influenced Elizabeth Hickox, analyzing her relationship with the curio trade, and specifically with dealer Grace Nicholson, to show how those associations affected the development and marketing of baskets. He explains the techniques and patterns that Hickox created to meet the challenge of weaving design into changig three-dimensional forms. In addition to explicating the Hickoxes' basketry, Cohodas interprets its uniqueness as a form of intersocietal art, showing how Elizabeth first designed her distinctive trinket basket to convey a particular view of the curio trade and its effect on status within her community.

Through its close examination of these superb practitioners of basketry, Basket Weavers for the California Curio Trade addresses many of today's most pressing questions in Native American art studies concerning individuality, patronage, and issues of authenticity. Graced with historic photographs and full-color plates, it reveals the challenges faced by early-twentieth-century Native weavers.

Published with the assistance of The Southwest Museum, Los Angeles.
"Extremely well written and based on an impressive amount of archival research. . . . It skillfully interweaves biography, rigorous stylistic analysis, and social history into an impressive story."—Janet Berlo, editor of The Early Years of Native American Art History

"Though by no means the first book or article to include discussions of the technically and aesthetically exquisite basketry produced by the Hickoxes, this volume is far and away the most extensive treatment of the corpus of their work and, more importantly, the context of that work in the broadest possible sense of that term."—Journal of Anthropological Research

"The baskets in the color plates are, of course, exquisite."—News from Native California
Basket Weavers for the California Curio Trade
362 Pages 6.125 x 9.25 x 1.4 Published: 1997 Hardcover (9780816515189)

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