A Finding Aid to the James Bassler Papers, 1969-2003, in the Archives of American Art

Summary
Collection ID:
AAA.bassjame
Creators:
Bassler, James
Dates:
1969-2003
Languages:
English
Physical Description:
3 Linear feet
Repository:
The papers of fiber artist James Bassler measure 3 linear feet and date from 1969 to 2003. The papers consist of biographical material, correspondence, personal business records, writings, professional files, printed material, and five scrapbooks. Much of the material was assembled by Bassler as supporting documentation for tenure at UCLA.

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
The papers of fiber artist James Bassler measure 3 linear feet and date from 1969 to 2003. The papers consist of biographical material, correspondence, personal business records, writings, professional files, printed material, and five scrapbooks. Much of the material was assembled by Bassler as supporting documentation for tenure at UCLA.
Biographical materials include resumes and writings about Bassler's father and siblings. Correspondence concerns exhibitions, lectures, projects, and Bassler's teaching career. Correspondents include Louise Allrich, Norman Cherry, Mildred Constantine, Kris Dey, Dominic Di Mare, Helen Drutt, Lillian Elliott, Betty Freudenheim, Teresa Huang, Eiko Ishioka, Ritzi and Peter Jacobi, Wojciech Jaskolka, Mi Koon Kim, Sherley Koteen, Gerhardt Knodel, Jack Lenor Larsen, Eudorah Moore, Gertrude Parker, Martin Peavy, Laurel J. Reuter, Ed Rossbach, and Paul Smith, among others. Among Bassler's professional files are items concerning his participation with the United States Department of State Art in Embassies program, his service as an expert witness for a legal case, and his teaching career at UCLA. One videocassette is a student's senior project. Five mixed media scrapbooks contain written statements, photographs of works of art, and printed material.

Arrangement
Arrangement
Due to the small size of this collection the papers are arranged as one series.
  • Series 1: James Bassler papers, 1969-2003 (Box 1-3; 1.8 linear feet)

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
Fiber artist and educator James Bassler (1933- ) is Professor Emeritus at UCLA. His weavings draw inspiration from Pre-Columbian, Andean, and Mexican textile traditions.
James Bassler was born to Margaret and Johnny Bassler, a major league baseball player who hooked rugs during the off-season. Bassler studied at University of California, Los Angeles where he would later teach from 1975 to 2000. Along with his wife Veralee, Bassler opened a crafts school in Oaxaca, Mexico in the early 1970s. Additionally, he established the fiber art program at the Appalachian Center for Crafts in Smithville, Tennessee (1980-1982) and was a summer faculty member at the Penland School of Crafts in Penland, North Carolina and the Arrowmount School for the Arts and Crafts in Gatlinburg, Tennessee.
Bassler and his wife Veralee live in Palm Springs, California.

Administration
Processing Information
The collection was processed and a finding aid prepared by Jayna Josefson in 2019.
Author
Jayna M. Josefson
Immediate Source of Acquisition
James Bassler donated his papers in 2003 as part of the Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America.

Using the Collection
Conditions Governing Access
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited ot the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Use of archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate copies requires advance notice.
Preferred Citation
James Bassler papers, 1969-2003. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

Related Materials
The Archives also holds an interview of James Bassler conducted 2002 February 11-June 6, by Sharon K. Emanuelli, as part of the Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America.

Repository Contact
Archives of American Art
750 9th Street, NW
Victor Building, Suite 2200
Washington, D.C. 20001
https://www.aaa.si.edu/services/questions
https://www.aaa.si.edu/