Apollo
Art Diary

Bags: Inside Out

4 December 2020

While some museums are closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Apollo’s usual weekly pick of exhibitions will include shows at institutions that are currently open as well as digital projects providing virtual access to art and culture.

Over the course of history, bags have been used for much more than simply carrying our stuff. This exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London looks at the ways that bags have become emblems of power, fashion accessories and the canvas for political statements, and explores the variety of design processes used over the centuries. Highlights among the almost 300 pieces on display include a lavish 16th-century burse made to hold the silver matrix for the Great Seal of England and the first ever Hermès Birkin bag, owned by its namesake Jane Birkin – as well as more modest items such as tote bags. The exhibition runs from 12 December–12 September 2021. find out more from the V&A’s website.

Preview below | View Apollo’s Art Diary here

Burse for the Great Seal of England (1558–1603), England.

Burse for the Great Seal of England (1558–1603), England. Photo: © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

‘Normandie’ clutch bag (c. 1935), France.

‘Normandie’ clutch bag (c. 1935), France. Photo: © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

 

Shoulder bag (1900–35), Myanmar.

Shoulder bag (1900–35), Myanmar. Photo: © Victoria and Albert Museum, London