Update: The Bead Museum's collection and library will be moving to the Mingei International Museum in San Diego, California. It should be ready for viewing there in December 2011.
Glendale, Arizona has been fortunate enough to be home to one of two bead museums. The other, in Washington, DC, closed its doors in 2008. Now the sad news was announced that financial difficulties have finally caught up with Glendale's museum and they will shut down March 12th. If you have ever wanted to be inspired by a visit to this definitely inspiring place, now is the time to do so. It's been the home to a vast collection of beads ranging in age from 15,000 years ago to present time, from cultures past and present around the world. It also houses the Gabrielle Liese Research Library, education and outreach programs, and a wonderful bead store.
The first garment to greet you is this Victorian wedding dress with beaded trim from 1894. My photos don't do justice to how gorgeous it is! In case the waist looks a "bit" tiny to you, the bride had a 20 inch waist - oh my. If I was down to my lower rib cage, I still wouldn't make that!
I love the texture of the fabric and had to work very hard to not touch.
This amazing beaded dress was made in Hong Kong in the 1980's. The beads are pearls, glass, and metal.
The dragons and phoenixs on the sides are exquisite.
There are many beaded bags on display - I've been wanting to make one for years now, but somehow never get around to it. While I loved the art deco designs, I think these two from the 1930's were my favorite. They're so elegant.
If you're planning a visit, they're open Wednesday through Friday from 10 - 5 and Saturday from 11 - 3 and the admission is a very reasonable $5.00 - for more information see their website here. Remember, it's your last chance to be inspired here!
Happy Creating! Deborah