Marion Steinbach Indian Basket Museum
The Indian basket collection of the North Lake Tahoe Historical Society consists of more than 700 baskets from Western North America. Of these, 250 are on permanent display in the Marion Steinbach Indian Basket Museum in Tahoe City. These include utilitarian baskets made for hunting, fishing, food gathering, cooking, storage and other purposes, and fine baskets made for some of the same purposes, as well as for gifts and for sale to collectors. The majority of the exhibited baskets date from 1890 through 1940.
The great majority of the baskets were collected by Marion Steinbach and donated to the historical society on condition that the society provide a facility for their display. This was accomplished in 1995 thanks to very generous gifts from society members and other members of the community.
The exhibit begins with three panels that show the principal materials used to make baskets by the native peoples of western North America, their principal techniques for making baskets, and the principal types of baskets they made and continue to make.
Next, the basket display begins with baskets from the native peoples of Alaska and the North West Coast of Canada, continues south to Washington and Oregon, then to northern, central and southern California, and on to baskets from Arizona and New Mexico. The display ends with a collection of basketry hats, most of which come from the native peoples of Northwestern California.
The North Lake Tahoe Historical Society is proud to offer this extraordinary exhibit of Indian basketry art from western North America, certainly one of the finest permanent exhibits in this country.