Hilary Evans Whittaker died quietly in January, 2021. She was a Bead Society member off and on throughout her life. She was instrumental in establishing the Bead Museum in DC.
My husband and I visited Hilary in Laguna Hills a few years ago. My husband and Hilary got along well because they were both “Vassar girls.”
She gave us several copies of James Lankton’s book, A Bead Timeline. Volume I: Prehistory to 1200 CE** for the Bead Society. The book was part of the Bead Timeline at the Bead Museum in DC. Installation of the Timeline exhibit was carried out by Jamey Allen, James Lankton, and Hilary Whittaker. It is about 34 feet long and displays some 5,000 beads which are organized by chronological time. Since the Bead Museum is now closed, I believe the Timeline is in the Mingei International Museum in San Diego.
She was a president of the Bead Society of Greater Washington and founding president of the Bead Museum, Washington DC. She retired to Southern California. There she expanded her hobby as a noted jewelry designer using globally collected beads, the oldest artifacts of mankind.
She will be missed by many in the bead community. She asked that in lieu of flowers any desired memorial contributions be made to Hilary E. Whittaker, Class of 1952, Vassar College, 124 Raymond Avenue, Poughkeepsie, NY 12601, for the Thompson Library Special Collections.
**James Lankton’s book, A Bead Timeline. Volume I: Prehistory to 1200 CE, 2003 is available from the Bead Society. Contact us for more information.