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Hood Museum of Art
Dartmouth College
Hanover, NH 03755

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Press Release | Spirit of the Basket Tree

Ganessa Bryant, Point Basket, 2008, brown ash and sweetgrass. Purchased through the Alvin and Mary Bert Gutman ’40 Acquisitions Fund; 2008.46.

Ganessa Bryant, Point Basket, 2008, brown ash and sweetgrass. Purchased through the Alvin and Mary Bert Gutman '40 Acquisitions Fund; 2008.46.

December 16, 2008


HANOVER, NH-Guest-curator Jennifer Sapiel Neptune (Penobscot) brings to light the rich visual dialogue between contemporary Wabanaki basket artists of Maine and the legacy of Native American basket making in northern New England and southeastern Canada at the Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College.

On view from December 20, 2008, to June 28, 2009, Spirit of the Basket Tree focuses on the basketry of the Wabanaki tribes of Maine, which include the Passamaquoddy, Penobscot, Micmac, and Maliseet.By presenting historic and contemporary baskets alongside photographs and Native voices in texts and video, this exhibition places the story of these baskets and their makers into specific cultural and historical contexts. For Neptune, the exhibition explores "...different ways of seeing: how objects, events, and history can be viewed and interpreted differently by different cultures. It is about the stories that baskets tell." Neptune, a basket maker herself and an employee of the Maine Indian Basket Makers Alliance (MIBA), also wrote an essay for the gallery brochure that accompanies the exhibition.

The opening lecture, "To Sell or Not to Sell: Looking for Forgotten Basketry Traditions in Native New England," will be presented on Wednesday, January 14, at 6:00 PM in Arthur M. Loew Auditorium by Dartmouth alumna Dr. Ann McMullen '81, Curator and Head of Collections Research and Information, National Museum of the American Indian. A reception will follow in Kim Gallery.

Additional events include a tour of the exhibition on Saturday, January 24, and a variety of adult and family programming throughout the winter and spring.

This exhibition was organized by the Hood Museum of Art and is generously supported by the Frank L. Harrington 1924 Exhibition Fund. Exhibition brochures are available in the museum gallery or upon request by calling (603) 646-2808.

About the Hood

The Hood Museum of Art at Dartmouth College is an accredited member of the American Association of Museums (AAM) and is cited by AAM as a national model. The Hood is located in the heart of downtown Hanover, N.H., in an award-winning building designed by Charles Moore. With over 70,000 objects in its collection, the purpose of the Hood Museum of Art is to inspire, educate, and collaborate with our academic and broader communities about creativity and imagination through direct engagement with culturally and historically significant works of art.

General Information

Admission is free of charge. Operating hours: Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Wednesday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Sunday, 12 noon to 5 p.m. The Hood Museum of Art Gift Shop offers items inspired by the collections and exhibitions. The Hood is wheelchair accessible and offers assistive listening devices. For further accessibility requests, please contact the museum. For more information about the collections, exhibitions, and programs, visit

Last Updated: 1/13/09