More than fashion history, ESSE’s permanent exhibit honors and celebrates the progression of the 20th-century American woman – decade by decade – through the lens of her handbag and the contents within. Through the collection and artful display of this material culture, as well as with the help of photography and ephemera, ESSE provides a contemplative portrayal of the woman’s struggles, accomplishments, and more sweepingly, the times in which she lived.
1510 Main Street , Little Rock, Arkansas , USA
1-One of only three purse museums in the world.
2- owner Anita Davis’ dream of exploring concepts of art, history, and the feminine.
3- The name ESSE comes from the Latin infinitive for “to be.
4- The museum’s permanent exhibit, “What’s Inside: A Century of Women and Handbags 1900-1999.
5- ESSE also features temporary exhibits, typically on a quarterly basis.
6- ESSE’s delightful museum store offers high-quality and highly unusual handbags.
7- The museum originated from the founder’s interest in folk art.