Wednesday, September 11, 2013

From Another Time: The Vintage Handbag Exhibit

Black satin handbag with embroidered flower decoration and pearls along the clasp. Handmade in
France.  Photograph by Sean Spear.
Purses, pocketbooks, clutches and crossbodies. Handbags, it bags, messenger bags and totes.  These terms and more are part of a language every woman comes to know.  Whatever we call them and whatever their style, these indispensable holders of the mundane and mysterious have been at the root of a question asked by women across the decades--what would we do without our bags?

Providing a charming look at the handbag styles used by World War II-era Texas women, the Woman's Collection at the Blagg-Huey Library on the Denton campus of TWU proudly announces a display of vintage handbags, curated by Woman's Collection staff members and featured in the library's first-floor lobby.


Art Deco-style beaded
handbag 
with paisley
pattern and fringe.
Photograph by Sean Spear.
A small part of the vast holdings of the Woman's Collection, a preeminent research center for women's history, the handbags collectively illustrate the influence of fashion on the form and function of handbags during the 1930s and '40s. Embellished with beads, pearls, crystals, fringe, sequins, lace and embroidery, they reflect a variety of styles, designs, patterns, fabrics and textiles and showcase exceptional craftsmanship.

Cream beaded clutch with silver flower design and curved
top edge.  Photograph by Sean Spear.
Donated to the Woman's Collection in 
2013 by Louise Harper, a Plainview, Texas writer whose focus was women's history, the collection includes over 200 handbags originally owned by Hale County (Texas) women, and is the only collection of vintage handbags with an emphasis on West Texas during World War II held by any institution in the country. 
 
The Vintage Handbag Exhibit will be on display through the month of September.  It is free and open to the public during
regular library hours.

~Sandy Cochran

2 comments:

brayanw said...

Once again a unique post of handbag collection. The designs was awesome and never seen before. Thank you so much. Keep posting more updates about the collection.

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Anna said...

The designs was awesome and never seen before, i think it's very cooool

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