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Materials Lab Workshop: Shell Bead Carving with Elizabeth James-Perry [AT CAPACITY]

Image courtesy of Elizabeth James-Perry.


Harvard Art Museums, 32 Quincy Street
Cambridge MA

This event is at capacity.

Elizabeth James-Perry, an Aquinnah Wampanoag wampum and textile artist, will demonstrate the time-honored coastal tradition of shell bead carving, using quahog shell, stone, sand, and hand drills. She will bring one of her current projects to show how to drill the beads as one of the final steps. She’ll also discuss the designs of her works and some of the social aspects of the shell jewelry, belts, and strands. She will share a set of her finished wampum cuffs as an example of the art form worn by many generations of leaders from her Noepe island community. (Noepe is the original name for Martha’s Vineyard.) Participants will have a chance to drill shell beads and soapstone beads to compare textures.

This program is presented in conjunction with the special exhibition The Philosophy Chamber: Art and Science in Harvard’s Teaching Cabinet, 1766–1820, on view through December 31, 2017.

The event will be held in the Materials Lab, Lower Level.

$15 materials fee. Registration is required and payment must be made in advance. Please email or stop by the museums’ admissions desk to register. Space is limited to 15 participants. Minimum age of 14.

Support for this workshop has been provided by the Henry Luce Foundation Fund for the American Art Department.

Major support for the exhibition has been provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art and the Henry Luce Foundation.