A Visit To The World's Only Independently Owned Handbag Museum


Born from founder Anita Davis's personal handbag collection, the Esse Purse Museum was established in 2013 in Little Rock, Arkansas after touring the country from 2006-2011.

Esse is located in Little Rock, Arkansas, in the vibrant SoMa neighborhood.

Museum admission is $10/each for adults & $8 for students.

Esse's permanent collection is called "What's Inside: A Century of Women and Handbags 1900-1999" and features everyday objects, alongside handbags from that era, divided by decade.

In addition, Esse hosts quarterly temporary exhibits that explore a topic deeper. Previous exhibits include Hats & Pins, Purses With Purpose: Girl Scouts through the decades, Reflections: Images and Objects from African American Women, 1891-1987, and many more.

Esse's onsite shop stocks unique handbags, jewelry, scarves, gifts, and more. The assortment covers all price points, from niche artists to one-of-a-kind items, upcycled, and vegan materials.

From the permanent collection