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As Seen In




Women. History. Purses. Art.

See the evolution of the 20th-century American woman through the bags she carried and their contents. ESSE Purse Museum – one of three purse museums in the world and the only one in the United States – is a don’t miss experience.


ESSE’s permanent exhibit hall features 10 decades and more; temporary exhibits complement the history.

Take a Peek >>


Discover how you can become part of ESSE Purse Museum’s efforts to preserve history.

Show Some Love >>


Select items in The Store at ESSE can also be purchased online.[su_spacer size="26"]

Browse Our Selection >>


  • Interesting, informative… a trip down memory lane.

    Anne, Roanoke, VA
  • History in a handbag… love it!

    Denise, Laguna Beach, CA
  • Great social and visual history museum.

    Karen, College Station, TX
  • The collection and displays are breathtaking!

    Anita, Nashville, TN
  • Awesome museum!

    Ashley, New Orleans, LA
  • A wonderful hidden treasure in our capital city.

    Pat, Cabot, AR
  • Great museum! Looking forward to the store...

    Martine, Montreal, Canada
  • So much fun to see my grandmother’s purses through my mom’s era, and now mine.

    Sandy, Little Rock, AR
  • Greatly enjoyed this history lesson!

    Amanda, Memphis, TN
  • This is an inspiring place. Beautiful.

    Leah, Topsham, ME
  • One-of-a-kind museum.

    Katie, New York City, NY
  • What a treasure for our state!

    Tina, Carlisle, AR
  • An honor to have seen the only purse museum in the States.

    Anna, Lund, Sweden
  • Happiest place on earth!

    Laura, Lexington, KY
  • Thanks for sharing this display and story of women throughout the 20th Century.

    Carol, Eugene, Oregon
  • Absolutely a work of art!

    Sally, Kona, Hawaii
  • Couldn’t stop smiling!

    Heather, Webster, SD
  • Thank you for such a fun take on women’s history.

    Erica, Fall River, MA
  • Gorgeous, smart, inspiring!

    Sarah, Minneapolis, MN
  • Celebrating Women – love it!

    Charmaine, Houston, TX