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Photo Credit: David Dietrich

Shan Goshorn (Primary)

Home Land

21st century
Medium & Support
Arches watercolor paper splints printed with archival inks, acrylic paint, artificial sinew
Overall: 9 1/2 x 6 x 6 in.
Object Type
Decorative Arts & Design
Credit Line
2016 Collectors’ Circle purchase with additional funds provided by 2016 Collectors’ Circle members Gail & Brian McCarthy
Accession Number
In Copyright
© Shan Goshorn Studio

Light green rectangular lidded basket with dark green and light blue geometric designs on the outside and a tan interior. There is text on both the inside and outside.

The words on this piece capture the language of the Cherokee community just before their forced removal in late 1838. There is a combination of the Cherokee embracing who they are as a people in addition to fear and uncertainity surrounding the possibility of forced removal. However, it is also a hopeful piece in that the color palette conveys spring time which symbolyzes the period of renewal and rebirth that some Cherokee people were able to experience upon return to their homelands many years later.

[Source: Annette Saunooke Clapsaddle on Shan Goshorn’s Home Land -]

This piece references the forced removal of most Cherokee people from their ancestral homelands in what is now called the American Southeast to what is now called Oklahoma and took place from 1838 to 1839. The process of removal and path that was taken is often called the Trail of Tears.

The Cherokee resisted their Removal by creating their own newspaper, The Cherokee Phoenix, as a platform for their views.  They sent their educated young men on speaking tours throughout the United States. They lobbied Congress, and created a petition with more than 15,000 Cherokee signatures against Removal. They took their case to the U.S. Supreme Court, which ruled that they were a sovereign nation in Worcester vs. Georgia (1832). President Andrew Jackson ignored the Supreme Court decision and enforced his Indian Removal Act of 1830. Cherokee people were forcibly taken from their homes, incarcerated in stockades, forced to walk more than a thousand miles. More than 4,000 died and many are buried in unmarked graves along “The Trail Where They Cried."

[Source: Museum of the Cherokee Indian -]

Label History

The connection between technological advancement and human modes of perceiving and thinking has been widely observed and addressed among media theorists. Goshorn puts this idea into action by using a combination of traditional techniques in basket weaving and a contemporary process of material making involving digital scanning and printing, entwining the connections the Cherokee have with their ancestral homeland.

Exhibition Title: Asheville Art Museum: An Introduction to the Collection
Label Date: 2021
Type: Catalogue Entry
Written by: Lei Han

In this basket by Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians artist Goshorn, the single-weave technique, detachable lid, and cross-on-a-hill pattern are elements drawn from the Cherokee culture’s long history of craftsmanship. Goshorn expands on tradition with her contemporary mixed-media approach, weaving with bright colors, photographic images, and strips of text on watercolor paper. The text references spring 1838, when the Cherokee people, overwhelmingly opposed to the US government’s plan of removal, planted corn and prepared as usual for their fall harvest. The basket recalls the tragic months to follow when over 16,000 Cherokee people were forcibly removed from their homes and marched to Oklahoma along the Trail of Tears. Goshorn interweaves historical documents, Cherokee medicine stories, and photographs of the Kituwah Mound near Bryson City, NC, as a way to express the Cherokee people’s enduring connection to their ancestral homeland.

Exhibition Title: Asheville Art Museum: An Introduction to the Collection
Label Date: 2021
Type: Catalogue Entry
Written by: Carolyn Grosch

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Exhibition List
This object was included in the following exhibitions:


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