Pearl Art from Africa - The Mottas Collection

7 June–21 October 2018

Exhibition Overview


For the first time, the exhibition on the aesthetics and significance of pearl art takes women as artists into the spotlight. Whether filigree pieces of jewelery, impressive masks or royal stools - the beadwork from southern, western and eastern Africa reveal the high craftsmanship and creativity in production and design. Produced in Europe from the 17th century onwards for the African market, glass beads are a symbol of early globalization. But pearls are much more than a commodity and a means of payment. Their colors and patterns communicate complex messages about the age, gender and identity of the wearer.

(Photo: Courtesy of Museum Rietberg)

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