Museums & More

Written by
Polly Nobbs-LaRue
Published on
April 7, 2000 12:58:00 PM PDT April 7, 2000 12:58:00 PM PDTth, April 7, 2000 12:58:00 PM PDT
Find links and information for bead museums, bead research centers and other great beads & crafts related organizations!
  • The Bead Museum of Arizona
    Following in the footsteps of The Bead Museum in D.C., The Bead Museum of Arizona permanently closed on March 12, 2011, due to insufficient funding. It donated its entire collection of beads and beaded objects to the Mingei International Museum in San Diego, CA. The Bead Museum of Arizona's purpose was to collect, preserve, identify, document and display beads and ornaments used in personal adornment from ancient, ethnic and contemporary cultures, covering all periods of history. Its goals were to educate the public, promote and publish research in these areas and to act as a permanent repository for beads, ornaments and related books and publications.

  • The Bead Study Trust
    Dr. St. John Simpson
    Department of the Middle East
    British Museum
    London WC1B 3DG
    United Kingdom

    The Bead Study Trust runs on the premise that "[t]he study of beads can throw new information on societies past and present." The organization was founded in 1980 and its goal is "to promote research and the use of archaeological, ethnographic and scientific techniques on beads, past and present, from all parts of the world."

  • The California Purse Collectors Club
    c/o: Molly Klumpfell
    P.O. Box 572
    Campbell, CA 95009

    Members (in California and across the US) learn how to collect antique purses, store them and identify styles, types and quality. The club keeps historical information on pre-1940 purses. As of 2007, they were meeting in the San Francisco area to swap and sell vintage purses.

  • The Center for Bead Research
    Founded by the late Peter Francis, Jr. the Center for Bead Research is now administered by The Bead Museum of Arizona. The Center's goal is to "support scientific, people-oriented bead studies and receive the very latest news of our worldwide extensive research." The Center has been serving the bead community since 1979. Its website offers links to information, back issues of their journal The Margaretologist, lectures, books for sale and more, including the opportunity to contribute funds to help preserve Peter's research collection.

  • Center for the Study of Beadwork
    C/O Alice Scherer
    PO Box 13719
    Portland, OR 97213
    Phone: (503) 655-3078

    This organization is also working to preserve the research collection of the late Peter Francis, Jr., founder of The Center for Bead Research (see above). The Center for the Study of Beadwork also offers copies of the proceedings from the 2007 Istanbul Bead and Beadwork Conference, plus magazine backorders, beadwork books, slides, postcards and more.

  • The Corning Museum of Glass
    One Museum Way
    Corning, NY 14830-2553
    Phone: 1 (800) 732-6845

    Located in the Finger Lakes region of New York State, The Corning Museum of Glass is the world's largest glass museum. Learn about 35 centuries of glass artistry! The facility also features live glass-blowing demonstrations, DIY experiences for all ages and an international glass market. It also houses the Rakow Research Library and The Studio, a highly respected glass-making school.

  • Gemological Institute of America
    World Headquarters & Robert Mouawad Campus
    5345 Armada Drive
    Carlsbad, California 92008
    Phone: (760) 603-4000

    The Gemological Institute of America is a nonprofit organization established in 1931. It works to protect purchasers of gemstones by providing education, laboratory services, research and instruments to aid in the accurate and objective determination of gemstone quality.

  • International Polymer Clay Association (IPCA)
    1350 Beverly Road, Suite 115-345
    McLean, VA 22101

    Formerly know as the National Polymer Clay Guild (NPCG), the IPCA is a non-profit organization dedicated to educating the public about polymer clay, promoting the use of polymer clay and studying interest in the use of polymer clay as an artistic medium.

  • Mingei International Museum
    1439 El Prado (on the Plaza de Panama)
    San Diego CA 92101
    Phone: (619) 239-0003

    In 2011, the Mingei International Museum of folk art became the recipient of the former Bead Museum of Arizona's entire collection of beads and beaded objects, along with a a substantial library including thousands of books, periodicals and catalogs from the closed Bead Museum in Glendale, AZ. The Mingei International Museum exhibits folk art, craft and design from all eras and cultures of the world. Located in Balboa Park, it features Southern California's largest and richest collection of "mingei", which translates to "art of the people".

  • The Potomac Fiber Arts Guild

    The Potomac Fiber Arts Guild (formerly known as The Potomac Craftsmen) is one of the largest and most active fiber guilds in the Mid-Atlantic region of the USA. They started in 1944 with only 12 members. Today´s membership includes a wide range of expertise, from enthusiastic novices to recognized professionals. Members can apply to grants, take & teach workshops, rent looms & other equipment, receive the guild's newsletter The Potomac Fiber Arts, and more. The Guild library contains over 1,300 books, periodicals and videos on textile-related topics.

  • The Society of Bead Researchers (SBR)
    PO Box 13719
    Portland, OR 97213 USA

    The Society of Bead Researchers was formed in 1981 to foster research on beads of all materials and periods, and to expedite the dissemination of the resultant knowledge. Membership is open to all persons involved in the study of beads, as well as those interested in keeping abreast of current trends in bead research. The Society publishes a biannual newsletter, The Bead Forum, and an annual journal, Beads. For membership information, and/or copies of Beads or The Bead Forum, visit SBR's website, or send snail mail to the above address.

    Articles and other content for The Bead Forum and Beads are invited and should be sent to:
    Karlis Karklins, SBR Editor
    Parks Canada
    1600 Liverpool Court
    Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0M5

  • The Society for Historical Archaeology (SHA)
    9707 Key West Avenue, Suite 100
    Rockville, MD 20850
    Phone: (301) 990-2454
    Fax: (301) 990-9771

    The Society for Historical Archaeology (SHA) was formed in 1967, and is concerned with the identification, excavation, interpretation and conservation of archeological sites and materials. It's the largest scholarly group concerned with the archaeology of the modern world (A.D. 1400 - present). According to their website, historical archaeology entails the study of material remains from past societies "that also left behind some other form of historical evidence." It embraces the interests of a diverse group of scholars in anthropology, history, geography and folklore. Membership in the SHA is open to professionals and interested lay people.

Last updated January, 2012. This list was originally created in 2000 after Russ Nobbs and daughter Polly Nobbs-Larue attended the Santa Fe Bead Expo, and spoke with with Russ' friend, the renowned Peter Francis. Since then, many things have changed. If you notice a link that isn't working or info that's out of date, please let Rings & Things site editor (Polly) know. Thank you!