Monday, 15 August 2016

Museum of Bags & Purses Amsterdam

Museum of Bags & Purses Amsterdam Versace, Madonna
Evening bag by Gianni Versace Couture 1997, worn by Madonna for the première of the movie Evita
Mary Frances, pineapple bag, Museum of bags and purses amsterdam
Beaded pineapple punch handbag by Mary Frances, available for sale in the museum shop
tassenmuseum hendrikje, museum of bags amsterdam, egyptian clutch
Clutch showing the Nile with the pyramids
bastet cat bag, mary frances, beaded bag
Beaded Cat bag by Marc Frances, available for sale at the museum shop
museum bags and purses, fashion museum, amsterdam
Delicate metal bag with colourful rainbow stones
Museum of bags and purses, amsterdam, beaded shoes
Beaded shoes from the exhibition "The Bead Goes On"
Museum of bags and purses, amsterdam, sarah's bag
Leather clutch with camel and gods
Beaded Clutch by Sarah's Bag, 2016
Museum of bags and purses, amsterdam, fashion museum
Evening bag, France ca. 1915
Museum of bags and purses, amsterdam, bridal bag with portrait
Bridal bag with portrait of Princess Maria Leszynska, France 1725
Museum of bags and purses, amsterdam, judith leiber
Evening bag "The cupcake" by Judith Leiber 2007
Museum of bags and purses, amsterdam, curiosity handbag
My favourite curiosity: Bag with mice playing poker


One of my favourite things to do while traveling is to discover museums and galleries all around the world. During my trip to Amsterdam this month I visited an extraordinary gem I have to share with you: Let me tell you about the world's foremost museum of bags and purses, The Tassen Museum Hendrikje. The museum,  situated in a lovely 17th-century canal house, tells you about the history of the (hand)bag in Western culture. It proudly presents an extensive collection of over 5000 bags from the 15th century to creations from contemporary designers, focusing on bags from exceptional quality and design, special materials and shapes. Fodor's Travel awarded The Tassenmuseum Hendrikje as one as one of the ten best fashion museums in the world.

Among the highlights, you can see Margaret Thatcher's iconic handbag and a Versage evening bag worn by Madonna for the première of the movie Evita. Classics such as the Hermès Kelly Bag or the luxurious creations of Judith Leiber stand next to next with all big names from Chanel to Louis Vuitton, Prada, and Gucci. 

The story of this fascinating collection of bags started only about 30 years ago, when Hendrikje Ivo, an antique dealer, bought a handbag from 1820. This was the beginning of a real passion of gathering extraordinary bags and with the help of her husband Heinz the collection grew and grew until it counted more than 3000 bags. They decided to show it to the public at some point. First, the bags were displayed in two rooms of a villa only, till the museum moved to its current location in 2007.

I enjoyed my visit to this museum a lot and can honestly recommend everybody who has an interest in fashion to go there. Another benefit of visiting the museum is to be inside a charming Dutch canal house. My advice: Book a High Tea for your visit to fully enjoy the beautiful museum cafe.

Plan your visit and get more information:

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