Discover the new Museum of Bags and Purses

  • 15-08-2018 until 31-12-2018

    The completely renovated third floor of The Museum of Bags and Purses was opened to the public on Wednesday, 25 April 2018. In the new space, visitors can now find themselves in an amazing treasure trove. Stunning bags and purses dating from the 16th through the 19th centuries are accompanied by their hidden stories, the history of the bag (from a simple, useful item to an iconic fashion statement) and information about the craftsmanship it took to make them. Creative visitors can try their hand at designing their own bag. And especially for the re-opening, the designer duo Vlieger and Vandam have created a new leather shoulder bag. Their inspiration for ‘Souvenir’ was a souvenir bag dating from 1850-1900: a Belgian-made cotton reticule with polished steel beads.


    The festive opening of the new third floor took place on 24 April. That evening, during the extended opening times, hundreds of visitors were the first to discover the new Museum of Bags and Purses. Since 25 April, the new third floor of the Museum of Bags and Purses has been open during the museum’s usual opening times.



    Do it yourself! Design your own bag.
    To learn more about the craftsmanship and the materials involved, you should be able to touch and even smell a bag, zoom in on its special details, and see what it looks like inside. The new third floor lets you do it all. After being inspired by the collection, creative visitors can then design a digital version of their own bag. What will this personal bag reveal about its designer? Visitors can share their design on social media. This will make them eligible to win a limited edition of the Vlieger and Vandam ‘Souvenir’ bag.


    Collaboration with designers Vlieger and Vandam
    The Museum of Bags and Purses’ internationally known collection inspires designers throughout the world. After all, the past (its materials, techniques and customs) often plays an important role in today’s design process. Especially for this occasion, the designer duo Vlieger and Vandam created a leather, embossed shoulder bag named ‘Souvenir’. They were inspired by a souvenir bag made in Belgium, which dates back to 1850-1900: cotton reticules with polished steel beads. During the 19th century, international travellers often bought a souvenir bag to remember their journey. These bags were usually decorated with a picture of a famous church or monument. This one, however, simply has the word ‘souvenir’ on it.

    The period room display cases on the first floor of the Museum of Bags and Purses now exhibit the unique souvenir bag designed by Vlieger and Vandam next to dozens of historic souvenir bags from the Orient.

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