grey bowl form made of rings of looped fibers; darker grey interior and bottom; dark iron wire standing male figures around inner rim; exterior decorated with drip-shaped iron drops hooked between woven fibers

Dark Kiva, 1994

Mary Giles

Waxed linen, hammered iron

Gift of Elissa and Paul Cahn 2009.59

On View in Gallery 281

Mary Giles preferred combining the traditional basket medium of waxed linen threads with hand-hammered metal components not typically used in basketry. Close inspection of this object’s interior reveals male figures fashioned from iron wire. They are meant to evoke Puebloan ritual gatherings which took place in subterranean circular structures known as kivas. The cultures and landscapes of the American Southwest were long-term sources of inspiration to Giles.

Image: In Copyright–Educational Use. Gift of Elissa and Paul Cahn

Unexpected Turns: Women Artists and the Making of American Basket Weaving Traditions

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