The Miser's Purse
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Originally written as a thesis for the Parsons/Cooper-Hewitt MA program, The Miser’s Purse by Laura Camerlengo, a Curatorial Fellow at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, tells the compelling story of how a small decorative purse became deeply embedded in nineteenth-century Victorian popular culture. Known at the time as long purses, gentlemen’s purses or simply purses, they came to be called "miser’s purses" because their diminutive openings made it difficult to retrieve coins. References to miser’s purses in women’s magazines and etiquette guides reveal that they were given as gifts or sold at charitable fundraisers, and these social uses were adapted by many artists and writers in their portrayals of society.
DesignFile is the new line of e-books on topics and trends in design published by the Cooper-Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum. There will be six to twelve titles published annually, each ranging in length from 7,500 to 20,000 words. Building a consortium with institutional partners and design practitioners, Cooper-Hewitt's series will bridge the academic, museum, design, and publishing worlds. Inaugural members of the e-book consortium are Parsons The New School for Design and the School of Visual Arts.