About the Basketry Project


A Sampling from the World's Largest Collection of Native Basketry

Construction has begun on Arizona State Museum's newest exhibition: "Woven Through Time: American Treasures of Native Basketry and Fiber Art."

Scheduled to open in April 2017, "Woven Through Time" will showcase a sampling of the more than 35,000 basketry and other woven specimens in ASM's permanent collection.

Home to the world’s largest and most comprehensive collection of Southwest American Indian pottery, the entire collection was designated an American Treasure in 2000. In 2011, a preview of the upcoming display was also designated an American Treasure.

Among the woven wonders in ASM's collection, examples of 2000-year-old sandals, a rare coiled bifurcated burden basket, and an Ancestral Pueblo twilled basket mirroring today’s Hopi ring baskets. All basketry and cordage products in our collection demonstrate basketry’s deep roots in our region.

Tohono O’odham, Apache, and Hopi stories speak of the materials, technologies, traditions, and the many functions basketry has served and continues to serve in Native communities.

ASM's collection includes specimens from personal collections, among them 80 Western Apache and Pima baskets donated in 1917 by George W.P. Hunt, Arizona’s first governor; 300 Pima baskets from Perry Merrell Williams, an early resident of Maricopa, also donated in 1917; and hundreds of items and baskets donated to ASM by Nelle Dermont of Williams in 1919.

See a video segment on Basketry Treasured from Arizona Illustrated / Arizona Public Media.