ESSE Purse Museum is set to celebrate five years as the nation’s only purse museum that chronicles a century of American women and their handbags. There’s certainly more than meets the eye at this one- of-a-kind attraction. Visitors view purses from 1900-1999 displayed by decade, see actual contents women would have carried inside them, learn of their struggles, accomplishments, empowerment and more.
Little Rock-based Et Alia Press announces the publication of What’s Inside? A Century of Women and Handbags, 1900-1999 by ESSE Museum and Store Founder, Anita Davis, November 7, 2018. What’s Inside complements the permanent exhibition of ESSE Museum & Store, offering intimate portraits of this most intimate accessory. Open the book and step inside one of only three purse museums in the world where decade by decade, the lives and habits of 20th century American women are revealed through clutch-sized vignettes and gleaming minaudières of fashion. In these pages, discover evocative photographs of purses and their contents, enticing essays, vibrant artistic renderings and illuminating historical fictions. While conceptualizing the purse as an extension of a woman’s personal space and a reflection of the time in which she lived, both the book and the museum celebrate a century of everyday women. Breathing life into often unnamed heroines, stylish changemakers are revered for their struggles and triumphs that forged the way for generations of women to come.
The 118-page, 8.5 x 9 premium color paperback retails for $29.95. It is available from Et Alia Press at etaliapress.com with free domestic shipping, local hand-delivery and at ESSE Museum & Store, 1510 Main St. in Little Rock’s SoMa neighborhood.
Get in on the fun by participating in some social media contests that may earn you some museum passes, the commemorative book, and maybe even a handbag of your own.