06 August 2018

"Bead art in Africa" at the Rietberg Museum in Zürich

This exhibition “Bead art in Africa” at the Rietberg Museum showcases a magnificent new collection of African bead-based art. Both the older and the more recent jewelry reveals the extraordinary creativity of southern, eastern and western Africa. We discover that beads are much more than commodities or a currency of exchange: they convey complex messages about the age, sex and identity of those who wear them. Produced in Europe for the African market from the 17th century onwards, they can be seen as one of the first symbols of globalization.

“Bead art in Africa – The Mottas Collection” from 7th June to 21st October 2018

  • Entrance of the Rietberg Museum, a glass pavilion called Emeraude

  • The fashion designer Laduma Ngxokolo drew inspiration from the Xhosa people bead work

  • Hermmann sample card of beads - 1942

  • Twin figure decorated with beaded cloaks, 19th-20th century - Nigeria

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