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The Bead Museum

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The mission of The Bead Museum is to promote the appreciation of the historical, cultural and artistic significance of beads, adornment, and the related artifacts from ancient, ethnic and contemporary cultures by means of collection, documentation, preservation, education and exhibitions. Its goals are to educate the public, promote and publish research, and to serve as a permanent repository for beads, beaded art and related books and publications.

Founded in 1984 by Gabrielle Liese , The Bead Museum provides a safe haven for a permanent collection of over 100,000 beads, beaded artifacts and adornments, and takes visitors on a journey of discovery of world cultures, history, geography, anthropology, art and archaeology. Study of the development of these small, yet significant objects gives us fascinating insight into human values, customs, artistic expression and technical ability in a field which has been historically overlooked.

The Bead Museum features permanent and changing exhibitions, education and outreach programs of lectures, tours, and classes for the visitor. Through hands-on projects, diverse cultural courses and interactive curriculum, the unique aspects of beads and beaded art can be introduced to new audiences.

Committed to fostering research and education, the Gabrielle Liese Research Library includes a comprehensive collection of books and journals on ethnography, archeology and art history. The core collection, donated by its founder, provides an extensive concentration of research materials. In 2004, The Bead Museum was the recipient of the late Peter Francis Jr.'s Center for Bead Research. These materials, including original manuscripts, books, journals and a collection of study beads, are now available, by appointment, for study.

The Bead Museum, formerly located in Glendale, AZ, closed its doors on March 12, 2011. Its collections were transferred to San Diego's Mingei International Museum.

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The Bead Museum

Glendale, AZ


The Bead Museum, formerly located in Glendale, AZ, closed its doors on March 12, 2011. Its collections were transferred to San Diego's Mingei International Museum.

Rights & Reproduction

Please contact the Mingei International Museum for specific information concerning rights and reproduction.

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