March 30, 2021

Dear Nantucket Lightship Basket Museum Member:

Over the past five months, the Nantucket Lightship Basket Museum (NLBM) has been in discussion with the Nantucket Historical Association (NHA) regarding a formal Affiliation that will join our two entities, Yesterday, on March 29, at a special meeting of the NLBM Membership, the members present and by proxy voted overwhelmingly to proceed with the Affiliation.  We thank everyone for their participation and thoughtful input to reach this decision.

We are excited by the possibilities presented by this Affiliation and will be guided by how it can best benefit the community. The lightship basket craft is unique to this Island. The craft is very much alive and must be honored, nurtured, and treasured.

A key part of the Affiliation will be the establishment of a new gallery dedicated to Nantucket crafts to be called the Nantucket Lightship Basket Museum Gallery, located at the NHA’s Broad Street campus. Once the existing location of the NLBM at 49 Union is vacated and sold, the proceeds will be directed in large part to the creation of this new gallery. This will place the lightship basket story in the heart of the primary NHA facility. Until this gallery is built, impressive displays will be exhibited at Hadwen House and in the Decorative Arts Gallery at the Whaling Museum. This year’s exhibit at Hadwen will be curated by Kathleen Myers and will showcase over 100 baskets from the NLBM. The beloved José Reyes workshop will be displayed in the Decorative Arts Gallery at the Whaling Museum.

One of the reasons that the Affiliation with the NHA is so attractive is that education and scholarship are key tenets of both institutions. As a result of this Affiliation, basket making will be integrated into the NHA’s year-round offerings of craft classes for children, youth, and adults; and it will be manifested in its scholarship, publications, oral histories and in-person and virtual programming. It is anticipated that the combined lightship basket collection will grow in time, with the clear goal of building comprehensive and world-class combined holdings.

Most importantly, we hope that we can continue to count on your support as together we weave a new chapter of the Nantucket Lightship Basket story.

With many thanks,

Daryl Westbrook
President, NLBM

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