Haida Basketry Hat Pendant with Frog Design by Primrose Adams (1926-2020)
Basketry Hat Pendant with Frog Design Weaving by Primrose Adams (1926-2020), Haida Painting by Alfred Adams, Haida (her son) spruce root, pigment, leather cord pendant: 3" diameter x 1" deep cord: 26" long $600
The granddaughter of Isabella and Charles Edenshaw, Primrose Adams holds a rich heritage of Haida artistry. Her mother, Florence Davidson, preceded her as a traditional weaver. Primrose has developed the techniques of her mother and grandmother to pass them on to her daughter Isabel Rorick, who has taken further steps of refinement in scale and design application.
Historically, the making of spruce root hats was often a collaborative effort between male and female artists. As in the case of Charles and Isabella Edenshaw, Isabella would weave the hats, and Charles would paint designs and patterns on them. In the past, the weaver’s role has often been left out, and the painter’s name was the only name attributed. In recent times, though, weavers like her daughter Isabel have created more designs in the weaving itself, and the resulting hats are elaborate enough without paint or further embellishment.
As with her ancestors, Primrose uses spruce root that her family has harvested in the traditional fashion. She also remains traditional in her weaving style, using no forms she often creates hats to be painted by a family member–her most recent, painted by her son, Alfred Adams.
Primrose wove a potlatch hat for acclaimed Haida artist Robert Davidson in 1981. In 2005, she was featured in the Changing Hands: Art Without Reservation 2 exhibition at the Museum of Arts and Design in New York City, NY. This same year, she was included in Sharon Busby’s Spruce-Root Baskets of the Haida and Tlingit book. In 2008, Primrose was included in the Vancouver Art Gallery’s Raven Travelling: Two Centuries of Haida Art exhibition. Her work can be found in major museums around the world, including The Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago, Illinois.