Curatorial Biographies:

Jo Stealey HeadshotJo Stealey, PhD. is Professor of Art, head of the Fiber program and the Middlebush Chair for Arts & Humanities at the University of Missouri. She has lectured on the contemporary basket movement at national and international conferences as well as curated many textile and basketry exhibitions. She is recognized nationally for her own sculptural basket work and her work is included in many private and public collections including the Smithsonian. She currently serves as a board member for the National Basketry Organization (NBO) and regularly contributes articles on American basketry for the NBO Quarterly Review Magazine.

Kristin Schwain HeadshotKristin Schwain is Associate Professor of American Art at the University of Missouri. She was awarded a B.A. in Art History and Humanities from Valparaiso University and a joint PhD. in Art History and Humanities from Stanford University. Her first book, Signs of Grace: Religion and American Art in the Gilded Age (Cornell University Press, 2008), examined how late-nineteenth-century American artists drew on religious beliefs and practices to explore new relationships between viewers and objects, and how beholders looked to art in order to experience transcendence and save their souls. Her recent research seeks to complicate the story of American modernism by examining the roles played by religion, race, region, and consumption in the production, display, and reception of American visual and material cultures.

Traveling Exhibit Manager:

Tamryn McDermott headshot
Tamryn McDermott
TamrynMcDermott@gmail.com | 703.628.9769



Exhibition at a Glance:

  • Approximately 95 objects
  • Text panels and labels
  • Touch panels and feedback station
  • Website with interactive elements and additional content
  • I-Catalog
  • 250 page full color print catalog
  • 2,000 – 2,500 square feet estimated
  • $7,500 rental fee plus incoming shipping
  • Moderate security
  • Tour dates begin January 2017

Exhibition Content:

Historical baskets were rooted in local landscapes and shaped by cultural traditions. With the increase of mass production brought about by the industrial revolution, basketmakers began to create works for new audiences and markets including tourists and collectors. Today, some contemporary artists seek to maintain and revive traditions performed for centuries. Others combine age-old techniques with nontraditional materials to generate cultural commentary. Still others challenge viewers’ expectations by experimenting with form, materials, scale, and installation. Divided into five sections – Cultural Origins, New Basketry, Living Traditions, Basket as Vessel, and Beyond the Basket – this exhibition of approximately 95 objects has two primary goals: to model how to look at, talk about, and analyze baskets aesthetically, critically and historically; and to contextualize American basketry within art and craft history specifically and American culture generally. A print catalog published by Schiffer Publishing with ten essays and 150 images that showcases the interrelationship between and among individual artistic production, historical traditions, and the contemporary basketry movement. It does so by examining contemporary American basketry’s roots in Native America, Europe and Africa; the multiple ways historical traditions continue to evolve in the 21st century; and the ways contemporary artists employ and translate basketry origins and techniques into sculptural, textile and installation art.

Exhibition Support:

As a Rooted, Revived, Reinvented: Basketry in America host you will receive the following:

  • Complete curatorial and registrarial information
  • Complete shipping, handling, and installation instructions
  • Wall-to-wall fine art’s insurance coverage under the NBO policy
  • Educational and programming resources
  • Access to the NBO sponsored website
  • Funds to support an NBO sponsored program during exhibition

Registrarial Requirements:

  • Venues must have a limited-access gallery with ample area and wall space for the exhibit.
  • Smoking, eating, and drinking are prohibited in the exhibition gallery, staging, and storage spaces.
  • All handling, installation, and de-installation of objects must be performed by trained gallery/museum personnel.