Like no other piece of apparel, purses have become an instant announcement of status and wealth (the ubiquitous Louis Vuitton), and they can even offer a comment on societal issues (Anya Hindmarch's I'm Not a Plastic Bag) or a satirical smirk (Longchamp's Ceci est un It Bag). The trinkets--and secrets--that a purse holds can be seen as a distillation of the needs and personality of its owner: A tiny clutch that only fits a lipstick and a compact may signal that its carrier is dependent on others to take care of her. An oversized bag may indicate its wearer has myriad fears and carries many items so that she can always be in control of a situation, because, as Ally Sheedy said, "You never know when you may have to jam." A new exhibit at The Women's Museum, Purse and the Person: A Century of Women's Purses, studies the intimate spaces of women's handbags (and their contents) throughout the 20th century. Approximately 200 purses, photographs and artifacts will be on display as the museum examines the relationships between emotional baggage and our physical carryalls. The Women's Museum is located at 3800 Parry Ave., and admission is $3 to $5. Call 214-915-0860 or visit thewomensmuseum.org.
Tuesdays-Sundays. Starts: Nov. 6. Continues through Jan. 24, 2009