In 1971 Doris Ulmann’s former assistant, John Jacob (“Jack”) Niles (1892-1980), provided an introduction for the first monograph to be published about her work, The Appalachian Photographs of Doris Ulmann. According to his recollections in that book: "They seemed to be waiting for her, the old women at the spinning wheels, the younger women sitting at the loom, and the children carding wool. . . . These were the people she really wanted to get down on paper for posterity. She thought they would finally disappear."
Made in preparation for Allen Eaton's Handicrafts of the Southern Highlands (1937) (https://primo.getty.edu), Ulmann's portrait of Aunt Cord Ritchie (born 1861-death date unknown) and her descendants presents three generations of basket weavers. Ritchie, a self-taught craftswoman who "made up" both the dyes and classic shapes she used for her Highland baskets, preferred working with willow, although she also employed oak and hickory splints. Once married to Uncle Solomon Everidge (1822-1903), a founder of the Hindman Settlement School, she was said to have instructed all the weavers of willow baskets then active in Knott County.