IACA Journal Fall 2013 - page 16

IACA Journal | Fall 2013
A Passion For Baskets
Pat Harrington has been collecting and selling Native American artwork since 1969
and has been a wholesale member with IACA since 1999. After his parents gave him a
turquoise ring when he graduated from high school, Pat read everything he could about
Indian jewelry.
He bought two boxes of jewelry from a friend of his mother’s and began selling at a flea
market on 4th Street in Albuquerque NM. A year later, he was able to rent a space in
Old Town Albuquerque for $40 a month. Since the space didn’t have heat, Pat primarily
did business in the warmer months and, by the end of the first summer, ended up with
a lot more inventory. His mother quit her job and joined Pat in starting up a wholesale
business, then a couple of years later, Pat’s father quit his job and it became a family affair.
The Harringtons continued to sell Native American artwork and merchandise until Pat’s
parents passed away, and then Pat continued on his own.
As well as baskets, pottery and weavings, Pat also sells jewelry
and fetishes. Although jewelry and fetishes have always been
a large part of his business, baskets are his passion. Originally
drawn to baskets because they were “visually exciting”, Pat has
now been collecting them for over 25 years.
His favorites are the Apache baskets because of their random designs, whereas baskets
made by other Indian tribes tend to have more uniform designs representative of
their tribe.
Most baskets that collectors look for are a hundred years old or more. It is very difficult
to identify the artist for baskets this old because there was no documentation with Native
American items, as there is today. A basket may be claimed as made by a particular
artist, but that is mostly by word of mouth, and so collecting older baskets is usually by
Pat Harrington sells a variety of Native
American artwork, but his passion is for
These baskets are just a sampling of the collection that can be found in Pat Harrington’s collection.
Photos by Dave Eversmann
Once made purely for utilitarian use,
baskets began to be sold and traded, es-
pecially during the early tourist boom in
the past century. Contemporary baskets
are made almost exclusively for sale. Pat
admits to not knowing too much about
newer baskets, but he says they are more
tightly woven and don’t have the same
feel as the older, traditional baskets.
1...,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15 17,18,19,20
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