Here at ESSE, we’re always striving to bring new and interesting exhibits on the objects, moments, and memories that make up part of the American woman’s story. Take a moment to check out what we currently have housed here at the museum.

Check back later this month for a new exhibit announcement.


August 29, 2017 – January 7, 2018

ESSE Purse Museum presents a new temporary exhibit The Power of Plastics: Reshaping Midcentury Fashion, which opens Tuesday, August 29th, 2017. The exhibit runs through Sunday, January 7th, 2018 and is included in regular admission.

The exhibit showcases midcentury plastic handbags and accessories from owner Anita Davis’s private collection. Much of the exhibit focuses on Bakelite and Lucite handbags from the 1930s, ‘40s, and ‘50s. Supplemental text offers guests a brief history of the conception of and popularity of plastic purses.

ESSE Purse Museum & Store is located at 1510 Main Street in the SoMa (South Main) neighborhood of Little Rock, Arkansas. Operating hours are Tuesday through Saturday 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. and Sunday 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. General admission is $10 and student, senior (60+), and military admission is $8. Call to ask about group rates and private rentals.