The Purse & The Person: A Century of Women’s Purses at The California Museum

Sacramento, California – The California Museum is proud to present The Purse & The Person, A Century of Women’s Purses, Saturday, July 3 through Sunday, September 26, 2010. This exhibit uses purses and their contents as a window on the changing roles of women over the past hundred years. Major themes of the 20th century – prosperity, hardship, war, peace, women’s rights – are clearly visible among these purses and their contents.

In conjunction with the opening of The Purse & The Person exhibit, the museum will host a purse drive with donations going to St. John’s Shelter for Women & Children. Visitors who purchase a ticket to the museum and donate a new or slightly used purse, will receive one free admission. The “Bring a Purse, Bring a Friend” campaign runs through July.

The Purse & The Person brings together life stories buried right under our noses — in the purses carried by our mothers and grandmothers. Developed from a private collection of over 3,000 purses and accessories, this exhibition looks at purses from the inside out, examining day-to-day life reflected in a very personal, very female artifact cache – a woman’s handbag.

The showing in Sacramento is part of a nine city national tour over a three-year period containing approximately one hundred purses, and hundreds of additional artifacts and photographs. The tour was developed and managed by Smith Kramer Fine Art Services.

For more information, visit

About The California Museum

The California Museum – home of the California Hall of Fame and California Legacy Trails – engages, educates and enlightens people about California’s rich history and its unique contribution to the world through ideas, innovation, art and culture. Through captivating, interactive and innovative experiences, the Museum seeks to inspire men, women and children to dream the California dream and dare to make their mark on history. Open Mon.-Sat. 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Sun. Noon-5 p.m.; Adults $8.50, Students/Seniors (with valid I.D.) $7, Children 6-13 $6.00; Children 5 and younger free.

The California Museum • 1020 O Street • Sacramento, CA 95814 • (916) 653-7524

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