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Basket Weavers for the California Curio Trade: Elizabeth and Louise Hickoxby Marvin Cohodas
Synopses & Reviews
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. "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, The Early Years of Native American Art History Published with the assistance of The Southwest Museum, Los Angeles.
Book News Annotation:
A biography of two Klamath river weavers: Elizabeth Hickox (1872-1947) and her daughter Louise Hickox (1896-1962). Cohodas (fine arts, U. of British Columbia) draws on a 1929 interview with the two weavers to describe Elizabeth's work in relation to that of other Lower Klamath basket makers. He focuses on trade considerations and aesthetics rather than spiritual and cultural aspects of basket making. Includes 64 color plates and some b&w photographs.
Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Includes bibliographical references (p. 323-342) and index.
About the Author
Marvin Cohodas is an associate professor of fine arts at the University of British Columbia.
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