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The Anacostia Community Museum’s indoor gallery will be closed March 2 through May 18 as we bring our next exhibition to life. Even though our gallery is closed, join us at any of the dynamic upcoming events planned during this time. More information about our events is available at: We look forward to seeing you soon!

White Beaded Oval Clutch

Object Details

20th century
glass beads, plastic bead, metal zipper, silk
5 7/8 × 7 × 11/16 in. (15 × 17.8 × 1.7 cm)
Glass beads spiral into a white whorl on this oval clutch. In contrast to the tiny seed beads, a larger plastic bead resembling a freshwater pearl pulls a zipper on the fabric pouch that supports the beading. A simple ladder stitch in undyed thread secures the beads to the pouch. Beige silk lines the purse’s interior. The purse belonged to renowned scholar-librarian Dorothy Porter Wesley (1905-1995), who organized and developed an unparalleled collection rooted in African American history that would become the Moorland-Spingarn Research Center at Howard University in Washington, DC. The elegant clutch provides a contrast to aspects of Porter Wesley’s persistent pursuit of archival materials, which included purchasing books, but also rescuing records destined to be discarded in the trash.
Accession Number
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Anacostia Community Museum Collection
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Anacostia Community Museum
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