Textile Society of America


Date of this Version



Published in Textile Society of America 2014 Biennial Symposium Proceedings: New Directions: Examining the Past, Creating the Future, Los Angeles, California, September 10–14, 2014,


Copyright 2014 by the author(s).


Joanne Segal Brandford and Lillian Elliott were key innovators in fiber art and basketry for 30 years. They were colleagues along with Ed Rossbach in the Design Department of the University of California, Berkeley, in the late ‘60s, when the contemporary basket movement began. Brandford’s foundation was in textile history and Elliott had a broad background in art. Drawing on different backgrounds and philosophies, they represented and encouraged creativity and experimentation in fiber art. Subsequently, Brandford and Elliott influenced several generations of students, curators, collectors and artists. Following their deaths in 1994, the Brandford/ Elliott Award for Excellence in Fiber Art was established for emerging artists in 1995. Founded by colleagues, former students, and individuals who valued who they were and what they did, this award is a notable measure of the scope and scale of each artist’s significance. The 12th Award will be announced at TSA’s 2014 Symposium. Primary sources for this talk are eight VHS recordings of Brandford and Elliott in conversation and lectures from 1993. The talk presents highlights of their careers, artwork, and artist statements, featuring excerpts from the recordings.