Esse Purse Museum & Store – Little Rock, Arkansas - Atlas Obscura
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Esse Purse Museum & Store

This museum is dedicated to the history and design of purses.  

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Esse Purse Museum is one of those treasures that is hard to imagine exists. The museum is tucked away in the revitalized neighborhood of SoMa (South Main) in Little Rock, Arkansas. This museum is home to hundreds of handbags showcased by decade and are carefully curated alongside ephemera and accessories. 

This museum is for everyone interested in the history of American culture and fashion. 

Tours around this museum are self-guided, but text is written on each case to highlight the history of the various artifacts. Big band jazz and Ella Fitzgerald wafts from the corners of the room as visitors peruse the collection. The museum also contains a small room for temporary exhibits such as the history of the Girl Scouts, hats, eyewear, and the smoking culture of the 20th-century. 

There is also a wonderful museum store where visitors can buy coin purses or even Italian designer bags. There are great eating spots in every direction near the museum along with an antique shop. 

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