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Volume 37 Issue 5 • May 24-30, 2007
now in our 37th season

Flagpole Dedication to Start 8th Season

Basketmaker and collector Nancy Tower Scott has loaned her impressive collection of miniature baskets to the Nantucket Lightship Basket Museumfor this new exhibit.

The Nantucket Lightship Basket Museum is pleased to announce the opening of "Through the Collector's Eye," an exhibit of more than 150 examples of lightship baskets, scrimshaw, carved antique ivory, and related contemporary and historical items.  The public is invited to participate in opening festivities on  Friday, May 25, 2007 at 10 a.m.

The mid-morning program includes a flagpole dedication ceremony for a loyal friend, volunteer and director of the NLBM, Manny Dias. 

From the very beginning, Dias has helped with fundraising efforts of the Nantucket Lightship Basket Museum.  Manny was also involved in the design and construction of the parking lot and to this day serves as the unofficial "maintenance crew" for the museum.  In April, 2000, he was persuaded to begin volunteer service on the Board of Directors.  From that time to the present, he has only missed Board meetings when he serves at the Town elections. 

It is museum tradition that Dias raises the flag on opening day.  "The Board of Directors could not think of a better way to kick off this year's exhibit than by honoring one of the people who have helped to make the Museum a reality,” explained Barbara Medaugh, museum president.  “The dedication ceremony will also give the many members of the community who share our admiration for Manny an opportunity to say Thank You."

“Winter,” and artistic basket created by Fred Ely using cherry staves,porcupine quill, and cherry burl.

"Through the Collector's Eye" will include examples of lightship baskets made by crewmen of the Nantucket South Shoal Lightship as well as more contemporary examples of Nantucket style basketry.  One such contemporary ollection is quite possibly the largest collection of miniature lightship baskets in existence.  On loan from summer resident Nancy Tower Scott, these 168 miniature baskets by 37 different makers (including Scott herself) makes a stunning display.  It has taken Scott 25 years to build this collection, and basketmakers whose work is part of it include Michael Kane, Nap Plank, Janet Bowman Flanagan, Karol Lindquist, and Maggie Silva.

The exhibit has multiple items from several private collections.  According to Museum Executive Director Albert L’Etoile, “when you’re able to see multiple items that one person chooses to collect, you get a view from that collector’s perspective.”

In addition to baskets, "Through the Collector's Eye" includes antique ivory, scrimshaw and collections of related items.  A highlight of the exhibit is a decorated pan bone of a sperm whale, with scrimshaw by David Lazarus.

"Through the Collector's Eye" opens at the Nantucket Lightship Basket Museum this Friday, May 25 at 10 am.  The public is invited to join in the opening festivities and visit the Museum during regular hours Tuesday-Saturday, 10 am to 4 pm.

Lightship baskets are unique to Nantucket Island.  The Nantucket Lightship Basket Museum exhibits and documents examples from the earliest forms created during the first half of the 19th century through to contemporary baskets.   The museum also contains a large portion of the workshop of well-known basketmaker Jose Formoso Reyes (1902–1980) and features a display on how baskets are made.

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