Like other masters of the arts world, the creations of the famous Native American basket maker Dat So La Lee are timeless.
Ninety-three years after her death in Carson City, Dat So La Lee is widely regarded as one of the most innovative, important and famous basket makers in the world. Her baskets remain coveted by collectors and can be found in top museums throughout the country, including the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C., the Nevada State Museum and Nevada Historical Society.
Her work — much of it done in Carson City and at Lake Tahoe — helped feed the Arts & Craft movement and “Basket Craze” of the early 20th century. At the time, her baskets could sell at up to $2,000. Today, some have been appraised at more than $1 million.
Also known as Louisa Keyser, Dat So La Lee is the subject of the April Frances Humphrey Lecture Series at the Nevada State Museum, Carson City.
Sue Ann Monteleone, the registrar at the Nevada State Museum who has spent more than 20 years researching the museum’s basket collection and Dat So La Lee, will present the program: “Dat So La Lee: A Washoe Woman’s Legacy to Nevada.”
The event is April 26 at 6:30 p.m. at the Nevada State Museum, 600 N. Carson St. The cost is $8 for adults; free for museum members and children 17 and younger.
Monteleone will discuss her research through historic documents, photographs and the study of Dat So La Lee’s baskets.
Monteleone has been the registrar of the Nevada State Museum for 18 years. She has a great passion for basketry and textiles, has studied native plants used for textiles, taken and taught numerous basketry classes with Native American and non-native weavers and is herself a proficient weaver.
Seating for the program is limited and reservations are urged. Those wishing to attend can reserve their seats by registering at www.nvculture.org/nevadastatemuseumcarsoncity/ in the “Upcoming Events” category.