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Pottery and Baskets in Dual Show at Gallery

August 10, 2010 11:15 AM
Teresa Parker Farris

Pottery and baskets — objects rooted in utilitarian traditions that have become prized works of art — are sharing exhibit space in new shows that open the Newcomb Art Gallery's 2010–2011 season on Aug. 24.


Sharing Newcomb Art Gallery space are a plaited split oak “fancy basket” made by Azzie Rolland of Marion, La., and a vase, circa 1900, with hollyhock design by Ada Lonnegan, decorator, and Joseph Meyer, potter, from the Newcomb College Collection. (Photos by Owen Murphy)

Nearly 200 baskets from around the globe will be on display for “Voices Inside: The Form and Function of Baskets,” while some of the finest examples of Newcomb Pottery will be featured in the smaller companion show, “Creative Environs: Art of the Newcomb Pottery.”

Senior curator Sally Main says baskets and pottery “are the oldest form of artwork known to humankind,” both using organic materials and sharing “a tradition of providing economic opportunities for certain historically disenfranchised groups — women, indigenous peoples and slaves — who financially benefited from selling their creations.”

Organized by Main in conjunction with Newcomb Art Department emeritus professor Jessie Poesch, the exhibitions will be on view through Oct. 17.

Drawn from private collections across the state, the baskets include sweet-grass creations of Carolina's coastal communities as well as animal-shaped baskets — representing crabs, alligators, and crawfish—made by Louisiana's Coushatta and Chitamacha tribes. Splint basketry from New England, birch baskets from the Great Lakes region and pine-needle baskets from the Southwest are included.

Other baskets on display are from Canada, Central and South America, Costa Rica, Dominica, Nicaragua, Panama, India and Laos.

The exhibition of Newcomb Pottery will feature recent acquisitions such as a large 1902 vase with a stylized rock purslane motif as well as a hollyhock vase, decorated by Ada Lonnegan in 1900, which toured in a 1984 Smithsonian Institution exhibition.

Free and open to public, the gallery is located in the Woldenberg Art Center on the Tulane uptown campus. Hours are Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m., Wednesday from 10 a.m. until 7 p.m., and on weekends from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m.

Teresa Parker Farris is the marketing coordinator at the Newcomb Art Gallery.