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Museum of Bags and Purses

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Attractions Details

📌 Address

Herengracht 573, 1017 CD Amsterdam, Netherlands

Opening Hours

8:00 AM - 5:00 PM

💸 Entrance Fee

Free

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Hafiz
Local tour guide
"Make sure to visit the Museum of Bags and Purses on a weekday morning when it's less crowded—you'll have a more intimate experience to view the collection without the rush. Also, take advantage of the lovely tearoom on the top floor for a unique high tea experience with a view that only locals usually know about."

What is Museum of Bags and Purses?

The Museum of Bags and Purses, known in Dutch as Tassenmuseum Hendrikje, is an enchanting and unique museum located in the heart of Amsterdam, showcasing an extensive collection of bags, purses, and related accessories. This museum offers a comprehensive look into the evolution of the handbag in Western culture, from the Middle Ages to contemporary design, capturing both the fashion and the functional aspects of these everyday articles.

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What may surprise many is that this institution is not just a heaven for fashion enthusiasts but also a treasure trove for those interested in social history, craftsmanship, and design innovation. Occupying an elegantly restored 17th-century canal house on the Herengracht, the museum has an intimate and chic ambiance that gets you to appreciate the art and history behind these accessories.

History of Museum of Bags and Purses

The history of the Museum of Bags and Purses is as interesting as its collection. It all started with the passion of a single woman, Hendrikje Ivo, who collected bags for over 35 years. Her collection, which began with a single purchase at an auction, expanded over time and became so extensive that Hendrikje and her husband Heinz decided to open a museum to share these treasures with the public.

Initially housed in a small space in Amstelveen in 1996, the museum's growing popularity necessitated a move. In 2007, the museum found its new and current home in the canal house at Herengracht in Amsterdam. This move allowed the collection to be displayed more comprehensively and attractively, in a setting that reflects the historic charm of the city and elevates the experience of exploring the intricate world of bags and purses.

Why is Museum of Bags and Purses Important?

The importance of the Museum of Bags and Purses extends beyond its status as the largest of its kind in the world. This museum isn't just about fashion; it's a vivid chronicle of social and design history. Each bag on display tells a story of the societal norms, craftsmanship, technological progress, and aesthetic preferences of its time.

Bags have always been more than just a place to store personal belongings; they are symbols of power, status, and personal style. By exploring the museum's collection, visitors glean insights into gender roles, social changes, and the progress of design over several centuries. Furthermore, the museum also plays a significant role in preserving the craftsmanship and inspiring contemporary designers and artists.

Things to Do & See at Museum of Bags and Purses

When stepping into the Museum of Bags and Purses, one embarks on a journey through time. The museum boasts a collection of over 5,000 items, illustrating the history of the handbag from the 16th century to the present day. You can see everything from elaborately embroidered purses, used by aristocratic ladies, to sturdy travel trunks and the iconic designs of fashion houses such as Chanel and Louis Vuitton.

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Take your time to explore the elegant rooms of the canal house, each telling a different chapter of the story. One unique aspect you might discover is the change in materials and techniques used to create bags, including the use of tortoiseshell, mother of pearl, and ivory in older pieces. The high fashion and contemporary design section can be particularly exhilarating with its showcase of creative and avant-garde pieces.

In addition to the permanent collection, there are temporary exhibitions highlighting specific designers or themes, workshops, and even high tea experiences. Make sure to check the calendar for lectures or guided tours, which can offer even deeper insights into the world of bags and purses. Before you leave, stop by the museum shop to perhaps take home a little piece of this unique sartorial history.

Frequently asked questions

What is the Museum of Bags and Purses?

The Museum of Bags and Purses, located in Amsterdam, is a unique museum that showcases the history of bags and purses over several centuries, featuring a collection of over 5,000 items ranging from historical pieces to contemporary designs.

Where is the Museum of Bags and Purses located?

The Museum of Bags and Purses is located in Amsterdam, Netherlands. It can be found at Herengracht 573, in a historic canal house in the city center.

How much does it cost to visit the Museum of Bags and Purses?

Admission prices for the Museum of Bags and Purses can vary. It's best to check their official website for the most up-to-date pricing and any available discounts or special rates.

What are the opening hours for the Museum of Bags and Purses?

The opening hours for the Museum of Bags and Purses may change throughout the year. It's recommended to verify the current opening times on their official website before planning a visit.

Can I take photographs inside the Museum of Bags and Purses?

Photography policies at the Museum of Bags and Purses can vary; in some cases, it may be allowed without flash for personal use only. It's advisable to check their photography policy on their official website or inquire at the museum before taking pictures.

Attractions Details

📌 Address

Herengracht 573, 1017 CD Amsterdam, Netherlands

Opening Hours

8:00 AM - 5:00 PM

💸 Entrance Fee

Free

Find it on google maps