Newark Museum: Glass Beads of Ghana

A new exhibition is on its way to the Newark Museum!

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Glass Beads of Ghana
January 30, 2008 – June 15, 2009

Southern Ghana is home to sub-Saharan Africa’s most dynamic and enduring glass bead-making tradition. For over 400 years, Ghanaian bead artists have been producing powder-glass beads from recycled glass to meet local demands of fashion and customary practice. Glass Beads of Ghana, the first exhibition to look closely at this distinctive art form, is drawn largely from The Newark Museum’s own extensive collection, one of the few such collections in the world.

The exhibition focuses primarily on the contemporary creation and use of glass beads in southern Ghana, with an emphasis on recent innovations. Video footage and contextual photographs, along with examples of bead molds and tools, highlight the technological process of making beads. The exhibition also includes a recreation of a Ghanaian market stall, complete with touchable examples of these colorful beads.

Glass Beads of Ghana is based on the extensive field and archival research of Dr. Suzanne Gott of Brandon University in Manitoba, Canada, who has developed the exhibition for The Newark Museum, along with Dr. Christa Clarke, the Museum’s Curator of Africa, the Americas and the Pacific.

Images from top to bottom:
Banner image: (detail) Strands of powder-glass waistbeads, 1980s, Ghana, Krobo artist, recycled glass, photo by Richard Goodbody, Collection of The Newark Museum

Woman dressed for dipo, a ceremony celebrating coming of age, January 2005, Akosambo, Ghana, photo by Christa Clarke, Collection of The Newark Museum

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2 Responses to “Newark Museum: Glass Beads of Ghana”

  1. CHALLENGE Says:

    The history of beads from Africa and other countries around the world is fascinating. We learn that beads have a longevity, charm, and spellbounding mystic that seems so contemporary. Although beads are over 2000 years old, but yet they look as contemporary as today’s fashion dictates.

  2. Enter Beadwork's Beaded Book Competition - Daily Blogs - Beading Daily Says:

    [...] Joy Crane: Beadwork, South Dakota Art Museum, Brookings, South Dakota, through June 15, 2008.• Glass Beads of Ghana, Newark Museum, Newark, New Jersey, through June 15, 2009.• Bead International, Dairy Barn [...]


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