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Yale University Press

Handbags: The Making of a Museum

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There is a history of the handbag—its design, how it has been made, used and worn. It reveals something essential about women's lives over the past 500 years. Arguably the most universal item of fashionable adornment, this book features specially commissioned photographs of an extraordinary, newly formed collection of fashionable handbags that date from the 16th century to the present day. The project is a commission undertaken by experimental exhibition-maker Judith Clark, whose innovative practices are revealed in Handbags. Essays by leading fashion historians and an acclaimed psychoanalyst investigate the history of gesture, the psychoanalysis of bags and the museum's state-of-the-art mannequins and archive cabinets.


  • By Judith Clark, Claire Wilcox, Adam Phillips, Amy de la Haye and Caroline Evans
  • Published by Yale University Press
  • Hardcover
  • 272 pages
  • 11" height x 19" width
  • Style # 502303662