• Facebook
  • Twitter

Women's Museum of California

Preserving the Past, Inspiring the Future

The History of the Beaded Handbag from Chaucer to Dolce & Gabbana

The History of the Beaded Handbag from Chaucer to Dolce & Gabbana


Event Date:
Sunday, July 02 2017

What is the event about?

The History of the Beaded Handbag from Chaucer to Dolce & Gabbana: 

800 Years of Bead-Embellished Purses 

Lorita Winfield, co-author of Beads in Fashion (1999) and Beads on Bags (2000), will present an historical journey in images through eight centuries of hand-carried and attached bags embellished with precious gems and glass beads.

Tickets are $5 

Purchase Tickets Here


Lorita has enjoyed a thirty-year passion concerning research, restoration, and home decor with antique beadwork. Her collection of beaded purses and artifacts is international in scope. She lived and taught several years in Italy near Venice where the ubiquitous tiny glass beads are created, and returned to the US with a desire to continue the pursuit of her interest in beads.

During her many years in Cleveland, Ohio, she served as an adjunct professor for the Fashion and Merchandising Department of Ursuline College, where she created curricula on The History of Embellishments, Beads as Fabric, and Restoration of Historic Costume, and co-authored books describing how beads are used in fashion.

Currently, Lorita resides in Scottsdale, Arizona, where she was involved as a volunteer at The Bead Museum in the years it was located in Glendale, Arizona. She recorded and transcribed the oral history of Gabrielle Liese, noted figure in Arizona business history and the founder and former Director Emeritus of The Bead Museum.

Lorita is a friend of Jean Nemer, the Women’s Museum patron who has recently donated the collection of purses currently on exhibit as 100 Years of 100 Handbags at The Women’s Museum of California.