Bead Museum Unstrung

Bead Museum Unstrung


Washington DC’s Bead Museum (400 7th Street, NW) is closing after eleven years, unstrung by rising rent and declining attendance and donations. The Bead Society of Greater Washington has operated the facility and will likely continue some programs.


This stretch of 7th Street NW, designated an “Arts District” by DC government planners, must have been re-zoned as a Mostly Mediocre Dining Area. Olsson’s is gone; Zenith Gallery is closing at the end of February, and the Textile Museum decided not to move in.


The Bead Museum will be closed Christmas Day, but exhibits and the shop will be open noon to 6 p.m. on four final days: Friday and Saturday (December 26- 27) and Tuesday and Wednesday (December 30 -31).  Of course, if you dither you can always go to the other bead museum — in Arizona.


 See DC’s Bead Museum. Really.


 Think beads are trivial?


Beads are the original means by which trade was globalized, thousands of years ago (don’t blame the WTO or NAFTA).


And at this point in time, if you think anything in your wallet, bank account, or portfolio has more intrinsic value than a string of beads, you just haven’t been paying attention.



The Bead Museum is 348 feet from the Archives-Navy Memorial Metro station, or take the long way ’round, from the Gallery Place-Chinatown stop (1003 feet).


Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht,


Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not obscene. Comments are subject to editing for clarity and length.

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