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    Visit Us
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    Burel clutch
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    See the Bag of the Week
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    Love Eyes
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    Learn More
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    Learn More

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