Take a walk with me to the Denver Art Museum and share two amazing textile stories.

Today I visited the Denver Art Museum. My camera ran hot and I have selected a few delicious art pieces to share with you. I was really taken with the delicacy of these grass baskets from the Aleutian Islands, Alaska.


 “grass basket”
Language: Unangam Tunuu (Attuan dialect)

When you pick it you say a little prayer, thanking the grass for letting us have some of it, and that we won’t abuse it…It’s easier to weave if it is moist. If it’s not so moist it breaks all the time. You have to do that as you go along. We usually keep a little glass of water to dip our fingers in.

—Maria Turnpaugh, 2003

Grass storage baskets were traditionally made to hold dried fish, roots, and meat; other types were for gathering beach foods and plants. Small, round, lidded baskets like this one were invented in the nineteenth century and made primarily for sale. Designs were added using dyed grass, split spruce root, silk embroidery thread, and yarn. Grass for baskets is gathered in the summer on coastal hillsides; the weaver bundles, ages, sorts, dries, and splits the stems to prepare them. At least eight weaving patterns are historically known.


Unangax basket weaver Attu UAF-1990-0003-00002

Blanket Stories

I loved this display. I thought you might find it interesting too.

In Denver people were asked to donate a blanket with a small story attached to it. The Artist Marie Watt’s work  is centered  around community, particularly through her use of wool blankets. As with many of her projects, she looks for blankets that hold meanings and memories. The blankets donated are folded and stacked to create a blanket sculpture. As part of donating a blanket to this project, there is  a tag attached to the blanket documenting the particular story.





8 Comments Add yours

  1. Great Post 👍

  2. Pam, did you see the Textile Studio at the museum? I l always enjoying visiting the studio.

    1. Pam Holland says:

      Im going to see it on Sunday.

  3. Mary says:

    Thank you so much for this post!

  4. Deb Bradbury says:

    How amazing…love the baskets. The blanket story also great…keep on coming with the stories PAM.

    1. Pam Holland says:

      Thank you… I added another one today.

  5. Sheri Andresen says:

    Once again thank you for taking me along on your journey

    1. Pam Holland says:

      You’re welcome. its a fascinating place. I went back today to photograph the textiles.

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