Art, Fashion & History: Glass Beads of Ghana. The Newark Museum

“Akosu” and “bodom” powder-glass beads, 1999
Nomoda E. Djaba (“Cedi”), Cedi Beads Industry
Odumase-Krobo, Ghana
Collection of The Newark Museum

Painted beads imitating Venetian millefiori, early 21st century
Ghana
Recycled glass and ceramic dye pigments
Collection of The Newark Museum

Woman’s waist beads, 1980s
Ghana
Recycled powder-glass beads
Collection of The Newark Museum

Woman wearing beads, Akosombo, Ghana, January 2005
Photograph by Christa Clarke

Powder-glass adjagba beads, 1990s
Ghana
Recycled glass
Collection of The Newark Museum

Powder-glass “bicone” beads with Ananse design, 1990s

Ghana
Recycled glass
Collection of The Newark Museum

“Glass Beads of Ghana is the first exhibition to look closely at the distinctive art form of glass bead-making and 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 colourful beads.” Joanne Molina

For more information please visit: The Newark Museum (http://www.newarkmuseum.org/) -Joanne Molina
Text & Images credit:http://www.curatedobject.us/the_curated_object_/exhibitions_newark/

Paulina Opoku-Gyimah says: surly we don’t have to wait until a prestigious museum in the west tells us that our glass beads are beautiful before we love or celebrate them. I was researching stuff on the net as I’m really interested in working with interested folk to open a fashion museum in Ghana. I can’t do it alone and don’t mind if anyone steals this idea -or as is usually hinted -inspired to do it, -as long as it done beautifully. Anyway I stumbled across the above piece about an exhibition that took place in January 31, 2008 – June 2009 at the Newark Museum, they have an “’extensive collection, one of the few such collections in the world” and it got me thinking……why can’t we [Ghanaians] celebrate the things we are good at -like making like making beautiful glass beads? Why do we only get excited once the West celebrate our stuff/goods/services etc etc? Anyway I wanted to share this piece with you because its right up my street. Beautiful objects of art, with many originating from the 60’s and fabulously shot -I bet there isn’t a museum in Ghana that has held such an exhibition??? Shame on us!!!

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