I was at the last meeting of the Bead Society of San Diego County, where the president of the Mingei International Museum (I believe the speaker was the president, but I missed his introduction) made the announcement to the Bead Society about the Bead Museum’s collection now being a part of the Mingei.
From my notes, he stated that the beads were a “terribly important collection,” and they were “thrilled to be considered” as a home to the Bead Museum’s collection, and that the Board of the museum decided unanimously to take the collection. The collection is something like 11,600 objects, AND they are taking the 2,200 volume library, including 122 rare books and 1,800 periodicals.
Karen Karn, the curator of the Bead Museum’s collection, will be arriving at the Mingei later this month to go through and help put the collection into a full digital database. Approximately 20% of the current collection is digitized. At this time, the Mingei will decide which items they won’t be adding to the collection, and try to give those items to another museum.
As you can imagine, there were many volunteers from the Bead Society who volunteered to help with the Mingei’s new collection!