Curator of a basket museum


Storage basket, late 19th-early 20th century, Pomo people, northwest California, twined fiber, Honolulu Museum of Art, accession 2013-16-01. Photo by Hiart.

Through the magic of the internet, I discovered the former Longaberger Company headquarters, which is a giant picnic basket. The building is up for sale, and I wondered what could possibly go in this building now?

It seems obvious – a basket museum!

And my action this week from Jen Louden’s Oasis is to create time containers because I’ve been struggling with a.) not coding games because I have chores and b.) coding too much and letting chores pile up and going to bed late.

So how about I proxy this.

What do I know about being the curator of a basket museum?

  • First of all, the whole building is a giant basket. A giant basket houses a collection of normal-size baskets.
  • As curator, I am an expert on baskets. I can tell authentic ones from fake ones, well-made ones from poorly-made ones, historic from modern, ones made for display only and ones made for real use. I only choose the best to have in my collection.
  • I know which ones to display at which times; which ones are connected by function, decoration, culture, and location.
  • The museum is climate-controlled, so they are always safe.
  • Not everyone appreciates baskets, so I have to be confident in justifying the very existence of the basket museum.
  • The museum, like any building and any basket, can only hold so much. It has one purpose, and limited space, and so any new acquisition requires giving away a basket that no longer serves the museum’s mission.

What would help me be the best basket museum curator possible?

  • good lighting
  • controlled environment
  • quiet
  • appreciation
  • money
  • local partnerships
  • patronage
  • feedback from the community
  • resources to learn even more about baskets
  • secure and attractive display cases

I would always have tactile displays where visitors could touch baskets and really feel their physical forms, fill them up with items and practice balancing them on their heads, feeling the weight and the need for mindful steps, the need for balance and intentional movement.

I would invite contemporary basket-makers to demonstrate their crafts and give classes to teach people how to make their own baskets.

I would invite American Tribal Style belly dancers to perform at events, because the basket is one of their props.


I don’t do proxying very often, but it is always powerful. So much goodness here and now I actually want to learn more about actual baskets : )


One thought on “Curator of a basket museum

  1. Sunday Revue: hot-buttered epiphanies – Ridley the Fool

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