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Handbags Absolutely Need Their Own Museums

By August 9, 2016April 20th, 2017Travel + Culture

Prior to last month, I didn’t have a clue that accessories grandeur outside of stores in shopping malls and high-end boutiques existed. Though my travels are extensive, delving into the history of fashion hadn’t tapped my interest spectrum. Typically, my travels include photography of landscapes, taste testing local cuisine, and knocking on doors of buildings featured in grade school text books.

…but then it happened.

well, rain happened, soaking out our initial plans to explore a local plantation to unveil history of my home state.

So, instead of heading home to a guaranteed state of absolute boredom, my mother suggested the ESSE Purse Museum. I gave her great pause because 1) I’m anti-fashion and 2) I couldn’t imagine my “country-fied” home state presenting something as a purse museum in its rightful glory.

….so I stalled, hoping that the rain would subside


but it didn’t and my mom gave more chatter about this place that she’d read about and was opening soon.

Eventually, I was out of stalling options as the rain continued. Therefore, we sat in the car, outside the museum, and waited for the clock to strike 11 AM.

..and it did.

then the details of the museum impressed me right away.


ESSE Purse Museum

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.

The collection of personal accessories and handbags are arranged by decade with historical complements noting the transitions through out the space. The space is modern and feminine which allows patrons to move with ease through the museum. Visitors can arrange guided tours to roam leisurely taking in stunning presentations as well as informative notations. Adjoining the museum space is a store with a variety of keep sakes and functional handbags.

ESSE Purse Museum and Store exceeded my expectations of engagement and interest. Initially, I was hesitant to visit but the strong encouragement from my mother proved to be a pleasurable experience.


The world is blessed to have three displays of accessories grandeur presented as purse museums;

Additional pictures of the museum are here.

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