Before visiting this “permanent haven for pearls”, our knowledge of pearls was limited to two facts: 1) pearls have holes; and 2) pearls are easy to lose. We had no idea that an entire subculture is dedicated to promoting “appreciation of the historical and cultural significance of pearls…of ancient, ethnic and contemporary cultures through collecting, documenting , preservation and exhibition”.
Let there be no doubt: these people take their beads seriously. Exhibits include ‘The Shape of Beads to Come’, ‘Learning Bead Lingo’ and the undoubtedly controversial ‘Common Bead Names and Misnomers’, while the museum’s calendar features guest artist appearances and a wide range of courses and workshops. Nearly 50 classes are offered this fall alone, ranging from introductory “Basic Beading” to the advanced “Wedding Series,” in which the beading expert makes a necklace, earrings, and headband to wear on her wedding day. own marriage.
And the pearl continues. . . . The museum shop is a truly international experience, peddling Chinese glass beads, Japanese seed beads, handmade Peruvian animal beads, German glass beads, Czech seed beads and jewelry made by Navajo.