Maine Indian Basketry Exhibition

In the snow

An exhibition featuring several related events...

May 5 - June 30, 2015

  • Reception and Art Conversation: with Artist, Theresa Secord, May 24, 2-5 p.m.
  • Lecture: “Collecting Maine Baskets,” with Passamaquoddy Basket Maker, George Neptune, at Curtis Memorial Library, Brunswick, $10 suggested donation, June 13, 1-3 p.m.
  • Hands-On Workshop: “Weave an Ash and Sweetgrass Bookmark” with Penobscot Basket Maker Theresa Secord, at Topsham Public Library, June 20, 1-2 p.m. Open to adults and children aged 8 or older. Limited space. Free with advance registration: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; 207-725-1727 

“Maine Indian Basketry” is an exhibition that includes 78 baskets woven by over thirty Wabanaki basket makers that were lent from 12 different sources. A Reception and Art Conversation with Penobscot basket maker Theresa Secord will take place on Sunday, May 24, from 2-5 p.m. and the public is invited to attend to see these beautifully-crafted baskets. The Wabanaki or “People of the Dawn” include members of the Penobscot, Passamaquoddy, Maliseet and Micmac tribes who hail from the Northern and Down East regions of Maine. They have a long standing tradition of weaving baskets prized for their utility and fine craftsmanship.

Since January, members of a curatorial committee have been gathering baskets for Maine Fiberarts’ show from the Abbe Museum in Bar Harbor, from Home & Away Gallery in Kennebunkport, from several private collectors, and from the artists themselves. Baskets include both historical and contemporary examples. While the materials used are mainly brown ash and sweetgrass, the techniques employed vary widely. Point baskets, curly baskets, handkerchief, alewife, button, sewing, and birch baskets are all on view. Baskets shaped like corn and radishes, stand next to work baskets with handles, and baskets that are eighteen-inches tall. The exhibition includes the work of David Moses Bridges, Pam Cunningham, George Neptune, Clara Keezer, Molly Neptune Parker, Jeremy Frey, Fred Tomah, Mary Sanipass, Theresa Secord, and Sarah Sockbeson, to name only a few.

Special programming to coincide with the exhibition will also take place. On Sunday, May 24, Theresa Secord, former Executive Director of the Maine Indian Basketmakers Alliance, will offer an Art Conversation at a Reception for the exhibition. Secord served as an advisor and lead curator to the project, along with Gretchen Faulkner of the Hudson Museum in Orono. On Saturday, June 13, Passamaquoddy basket maker George Neptune will offer a talk at Curtis Memorial Library in Brunswick from 1-3 p.m. on the topic of “Collecting Maine Baskets.” Finally, on Saturday, June 20, from 1-2 p.m., Theresa Secord will offer a hands-on workshop at Topsham Public Library entitled “Weaving an Ash and Sweetgrass Bookmark.” Admission to the workshop is free for the first twenty people who sign up by emailing: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.or by calling 207-725-1727. 

Collaborators: Abbe Museum, Bowdoin College, Home & Away Gallery, Hudson Museum
Curators: Theresa Secord, Curatorial Committee Head; Gretchen Faulkner, Consultant
Sponsors: Bangor Savings Bank, Maine Humanities Council, Maine Arts Commission, Maine Community Foundation and several individuals who value this art form.

Basket Show Sponsors

Basketry Photo Gallery