Lucite®, a hard acrylic plastic, emerged in the fashion world in the form of ladies’ handbags after World War II. Progressive designers began experimenting with the futuristic medium’s versatility, and soon reinvented the traditional handbag with unusual colors and representative forms such as the butterfly, guitar and bird cage. Almost overnight, they became irresistible novelties and status symbols du jour for celebrities and style mavens alike. Fifty years later, these functional objects of art remain treasured for their innovation and allure and help illuminate the story of the American fashion aesthetic.
Memphis resident Caryn Scheidt has built her encyclopedic collection—one of the largest in the world—over the past 20 years, and this exhibition includes examples by all of the major Lucite® handbag designers. The catalogue, Carry Me! 1950s Lucite® Handbags: An American Fashion, written by Janice Berkson, will accompany the exhibition. Carry Me! is expected to travel to additional United States locations.
Carry Me! Lucite Handbags from the Caryn Scheidt Collection is sponsored by Lucite® international, The Caryn and Rudi Scheidt Family Foundation, and Skirt! Magazine. Organized by Dixon Gallery and Gardens.