Last updated: 6/23/2011
Washington, District of Columbia
400 Seventh Street Northwest
Ground Floor
Washington, DC 20004
phone: 202-624-4500
Rich Reichley, Museum Manager
Victor Steele, Assistant Museum Manager

The Bead Society of Greater Washington is dedicated to furthering the understanding of beads and ornaments. Our mission is twofold:
• to encourage the scholarly study of beads, which are among the oldest, most universal, and most enduring artifacts of mankind, and
• to foster public appreciation of beads as objects of beauty that have been used not only for adornment but as status symbols and protective amulets in ancient, ethnic, and contemporary cultures.

The Society pursues its mission by:
• disseminating knowledge through publications, conferences, and educational programs for both children and adults;
• sharing our resources through our extensive research library, which is open to the public; and
• developing The Bead Museum as an international center for the collection, interpretation, and exhibition of beads and related ornaments.

The Bead Museum promotes cultural understanding through the interpretation of beads.

Our focus in all that we do is on what beads tell us about people, the men and women who have worn them and made them, traded them and treasured them—about their aesthetic impulses and artistic abilities, their technological skills and trading patterns, their hopes and fears and social roles. The goal of the Museum is to enlighten the individual and enrich the community, for understanding one another’s cultural heritage fosters understanding among people.

The Bead Society of Greater Washington (BSGW) and
the Bead Museum pursue their mission through:

Changing Exhibitions • Permanent Timeline of Beads
Slide-Lectures • Gallery Tours • Films • Special Events
Demonstrations • Seminars • Conferences
Children’s Educational Programs • Hands-On Activities
Newsletter • Informational Handouts • Other Publications
Classes • Workshops • Museum Tours
Bead Study Group • Bead Study Cards
Research Grants • Internships
Collaboration with Other Organizations
Semiannual Bead Bazaars
Museum Store


The Bead Society of Greater Washington was established in 1983. The Bead Museum was founded in 1995 by members of BSGW, and opened to the public in 1997. Over 35,000 visitors have passed through our doors.


Silver Speaks • Naga Tribal Adornment • Bead Timeline
BeadMuseum Newsletter

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Oakland Park, Florida

We are a design and fabrication shop that encourages play in museums, organizations and brands so they may spread the roots of their mission. Play is a powerful tool because it tests assumptions, makes connections and establishes a positive emotional memory to concepts. Incorporating play (interactives) in your project can actually boost diversity, loyalty and engagement which will ultimately strengthen your mission.

Monday, November 29 - Wednesday, December 1, 2021 — Washington, District of Columbia
2021 International Conference of Indigenous Archives, Libraries, and Museums
Washington, District of Columbia
Saturday, March 5 - Tuesday, March 8, 2022 — Richmond, Virginia
Virginia Association of Museums Annual Conference 2022
Richmond, Virginia
Sunday, March 6 - Thursday, March 10, 2022 — St. Louis, Missouri
2022 Public Land Alliance Convention and Trade Show
St. Louis, Missouri
Wednesday, March 16 - Friday, March 18, 2022 — Kingsport, Tennessee
Tennessee Association of Museums 2022 Annual Conference
Kingsport, Tennessee
Tuesday, March 22 - Friday, March 25, 2022 — Waco, Texas
Texas Association of Museums 2022 - Growing Together: Tackling The Challenges Of Today & Tomorrow
Waco, Texas
Thursday, April 7 - Saturday, April 9, 2022 — Point Pleasant, West Virginia
West Virginia Association of Museums 2022 Conference
Point Pleasant, West Virginia
Sunday, May 15 - Saturday, May 28, 2022 — Statesboro, Georgia
Center of Excellence Tick Workshop 2022
Statesboro, Georgia
Monday, May 16 - Wednesday, May 18, 2022 — St. Louis, Missouri
InterActivity 2022: Play The Long Game -Association of Children's Museums
St. Louis, Missouri
Thursday, May 19 - Sunday, May 22, 2022 — Slinger, Wisconsin
2022 Fire Museum Seminar
Slinger, Wisconsin
Sunday, June 19 - Wednesday, June 22, 2022 — Golden, Colorado
2022 Country School Association of America Conference
Golden, Colorado
Monday, August 1 - Friday, August 5, 2022 — Owings Mills, Maryland
Owings Mills, Maryland
Wednesday, September 14 - Saturday, September 17, 2022 — Buffalo, New York
American Association for State and Local History 2022 On-site and Virual Conferences
Buffalo, New York