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Intertwined: Contemporary Baskets from the Sara and David Lieberman Collection features innovative baskets at the ASU Art Museum

Ferne Jacobs
Waxed linen thread
26 x 17 x 17"
Photo courtesy of Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts.

September 13, 2005

TEMPE, Ariz. - Arizona art collectors Sara and David Lieberman have one of the most extensive collections of contemporary baskets in the country and will share the best of their collection with the public at the ASU Art Museum Dec. 10 - April 1. Intertwined: Contemporary Baskets from the Sara and David Lieberman Collection opens with a members and invited guests reception and holiday party Dec. 9, 6-8 p.m.

Intertwined will change perceptions about the art of contemporary basket-making. Nearly 70 works by regional, national and international artists show the breadth of the art form with traditional and functional works exhibited along with mixed-media sculptures. The artists have manipulated a range of materials like grasses, fish skins, porcupine quills, grocery bags, postcards and pistachio shells to create intriguing objects that push the boundaries of basket-making.

"Sara and David Lieberman, with their impeccable eye and passion for contemporary craft, have assembled one of the best collections of contemporary baskets in the country," says Heather Lineberry, who curated the exhibition along with nationally-known basket-maker and scholar Jane Sauer. "The more than 150 baskets in their collection were first collected for their function, appeal and grounding in ancient traditions. But their selections soon included new works of great vitality that were more about expression and communication rather than function."

For the past 40 years, the Liebermans have created strong collections of ceramics, baskets and contemporary art. They are originally from Minneapolis and permanently relocated to Arizona in 1996, where they became active in the arts and education communities. The couple strongly supported the development of the ASU Art Museum's Ceramics Research Center, which exhibited their ceramics collection in 2003.

"Intertwined will be a visual feast with highly textural, colorful and boldly shaped sculptural forms suspended from the ceiling and hung on walls, in addition to traditional settings," says Lineberry. "The exhibition and its accompanying catalog, with essays by Kenneth R. Trapp and Ferne Jacobs, provide an international look at contemporary basket-making and its current level of innovation and experimentation."

Artists in the exhibition include Kate Anderson, Dorothy Gill Barnes, Dail Behennah, Nancy Moore Bess, Mary Black, Sally Black, Jerry Bleem, Jan Buckman, Jane Chavez, Jill Nordfors Clark, Carol Eckert, Lillian Elliott, Noboru Fujinuma, John Garrett, Shokosai Hayakawa, Elsie Holiday, Hideaki Honma, Kazuaki Honma, Jan Hopkins, Lissa Hunter, Kiyoma Iwata, Ferne Jacobs, Nancy Koenigsberg, Gyongy Laky, John McQueen, Norma Minkowitz, Kenichi Nagakura, Leon Niehues, Pearl Nuvangyaoma, Lindsay K. Rais, Fran Reed, Ed Rossbach, Hisako Sekijima, Kay Sekimachi, Hideho Tanaka, Tsuruko Tanikawa, Lisa Telford, Maseo Ueno, Dawn Walden, Mika Watanabe, Katherine Westphal and Jiro Yonezawa.

The ASU Art Museum is part of the Herberger College of Fine Arts and is located on the southeast corner of Mill Avenue and 10 th Street in Tempe.   Exhibition hours are 10 a.m. - 9 p.m., Tuesdays and 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday. Admission is free.   For more information, call (480) 965-2787 or visit the museum online at 

Media Contact:
Denise Tanguay