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The Purse & The Person: A Century of Women’s Purses

October 18, 2008 – January 4, 2009

While archeologists may create a picture of an individual from a cache of artifacts buried deep in the earth, this exhibition brings together life stories buried right under our noses - in the purses carried by our mothers and grandmothers. Developed from a private collection of nearly 2,000 handbags, each vignette in this show combines purses with the everyday objects that filled them.

Glimpse into the lives of Edwardian matrons, flappers, wartime Rosie the Riveters, suburban housewives, hippies, businesswomen, and more. Historical photographs are used to bring these characters to life. The women of the 20th century will reveal their personalities, their fashion sense, and their day-to-day concerns brought out in the mysterious depths of their purses.

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