Vintage bags and purses you haven’t seen before.
The Tassenmuseum Hendrikje in Amsterdam exhibits one of the world’s largest vintage bags and handbags collections. It was founded out of the private handbag collection by Hendrikje and Heinz Ivo. For 35 years they had been collecting bags and vintage bags from all over the world. Today, the museum is led by Leonie Sterenborg (Chief curator) and Marion Timmers (Coordinator exhibitions and collections).
Leonie, the museum owns more than 5.000 bags and purses from different centuries. Which was the first handbag in your collection?
The impressive collection of The Museum of Bags and Purses is the work of two passionate collectors: Hendrikje and Heinz Ivo. Henrikje worked as an antique dealer for silver at an antique shop in the English countryside.
There, they were captivated by the beauty, craftsmanship and personal story behind a bag made of tortoiseshell and inlaid with mother-of-pearl.
Like other collectors, the Ivos were immediately smitten. It proved the start of a wider interest in bags and they soon found themselves collecting bags.
Which are the most outstanding vintage bags Tassenmuseum Hendrikje possesses?
We have so many bags from the 1500s up to today, so it’s very hard to name the most special ones. We have vintage bags like a Chanel 2.55, Hermès Kelly Bag, Yves Saint Laurent, Dior, and Gucci.
Where do you acquire the vintage bags and new handbags for your museum?
We get offered bags every week, by vistors or enthusiasts. Also, fashion brands such as Karl Lagerfeld, Dolce & Gabbana or Michael Kors begift us. Of course we keep an eye on what‘s new and what designers are bringing out but we also look into auctions for older and vintage bags.
You offer changing exhibitions. What does the program for 2018 look like?
We have just opened our renovated third floor with a new presentation of the bags of the 16th to 19th century! We also have an exhibition on Italian Fashion and bags: Made in Italy.
Tassenmuseum Hendrikje in the future – where will it go?
Next year, we have an exciting exhibition about Barbie. She will turn 60 in 2019, which we will celebrate by showing hundreds or Barbies, from the very first one of 1959 to the latest heroes and limited editions. The whole museum will turn pink!
In the future, we will focus more on fashion, bags and accessories, connected to the history, crafts & design, and cultural history of our bags. There are always so many stories to tell about any bag.
More information about Tassenmuseum Hendrikje, its handbags and vintage bags can be found on the website.
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