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ARAPAHO/SHOSHONE MOCCASINS of leather, glass beads, 1947. Photographs courtesy of Autry National Center of the American West.

Bead Arts

Floral Journey




On view in Los Angeles, at the Autry National Center of the American West, is a treasure trove of decorated moccasins, bags, dresses, hats, jackets, and other beaded and quilled items. Selected from fifteen cultural institutions, including the Autry’s Southwest Museum of the American Indian Collection as well as private collections, the exhibition is another masterful curatorial effort by Lois S. Dubin, with more than two hundred fifty objects tracing the flow of floral beadwork from east to west as it progressed through the North American continent.

“We hope people see that this extraordinarily beautiful body of art contains many layers of information,” said guest curator Dubin. “You can look at the work and appreciate it strictly by itself as glorious imagery, but when you know something about the meaning behind the designs, it’s even more terrific. These are not inert, static objects, they pulsate with life because every piece has a story.”






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