Strands of Culture is a world-encompassing, cross-cultural exhibition of man’s oldest and smallest portable art form ? the bead. Focusing on the finest examples of work from ancient to modern times, the exhibition offers an awareness of the extraordinary beauty of beads and the diversity of materials and techniques in beadwork. Beads reveal much about cultures through the many ways they have been used as talismans in ancient and modern societies; Buddhist, Christian and Islamic prayer beads; symbols of affluence; and a standard, cross-cultural medium of barter throughout the world. The exhibition was organized by the Mingei International Museum, San Diego, California. It was curated by Martha Longenecker, the Founding Director of the Mingei, with assistance from Lois Sherr Dubin.
The exhibition is funded by Suzanne Ryan, Ewen Farm, the North Dakota Humanities Council, a state partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Minnesota State Arts Board through an appropriation by the Minnesota State Legislature and a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.