The Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian presents Beads: A Universe of Meaning. The exhibition traces the history of imported glass beads as a medium of exchange, artistic expression, and identity for indigenous peoples throughout North America. It features garments, articles of adornment, and works of art dating from circa 1850 to the present, and examines the ways in which makers of beadwork have simultaneously sustained tradition, engaged with popular culture, and developed a uniquely native art form.


Columbia River Plateau Flat Bag, circa 1930. Artist unknown. Private collection.
Beaded Plateau Pictorial Bag, circa 1940-1950. 15" x 16 1/2". Private collection.
MAN’S MOCCASINS Plateau, circa 1890. Artist unknown. Private collection.
MAN’S MOCCASINS Sauk and Fox, circa 1870. Artist unknown. Private collection.
BAG DEPICTING A WHITE-TAILED DEER Sandra Okuma, Luiseño/Shoshone-Bannock, 2011. Private collection.