From the conservative to the whimsical, the purses represent a historical era, an artistic creation or a sentimental bond, such as a handbag made out of neckties owned by Dorothy Crawford.
I personally enjoy exhibits like this one because it gives you the opportunity to look at the evolution of handbags since the 1800's. Even though the alligator bag shown above doesn't meet the description of the alligator "it bag" that most women look for today, it can't be said that whoever designed this bag didn't have artistic flair!
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(courtesy of Chicago Tribune)