Bag It! The Art of the Shopping Bag
Exhibit on view at Lancaster Museum of Art location
April 29 – June 25, 2017
Opening April 29th, the museum will feature an exhibition of shopping bags from around the world that are all drawn from the collection of Jean Gromoll. Looking at the graphic nature of shopping bags, the exhibit will give insight into their rise as a utilitarian item that evolved into a status symbol for shoppers and merchants. Unlike the first flimsy, envelope-shaped shopping bag, the shopping bags in this exhibition were meant to last as souvenirs of trips and purchases. They come in diverse colors, sizes, and designs all intended to catch the attention of the public.
These bags are from a time when merchants saw the value in their creating a brand and eventually commissioned artists to design them. In the hands of capable artists, shopping bags surpassed their simple use as a way to carry goods home as they become vehicles of meaning. Like the Tiffany & Co.’s blue box, their company’s bag came to represent an expensive, tasteful purchase, encouraging buyers to make similar purchases while also cementing their status as an elite jewelry company.
Bag It! will also feature bags from Bloomingdale’s, the company who helped create the modern, give away shopping bag that we are familiar with today. In fact Bloomingdale’s artist designed bags, like the Roy Lichtenstein bag that will be part of the exhibition, are still being created today. The exhibit will also cover local stores such as Hager’s Department Store and the classic Tiffany blue bag.
The exhibit, on view from April 29 to June 25, 2017, will feature shopping bags of various formats and form such companies as Steiff, Bloomingdales, Hager’s, Watt & Shand and Bonwit Teller, among others. An opening reception will be held at the Lancaster Museum of Art on Friday, April 28, 2017 from 5-8 p.m.
Lancaster Museum of Art
135 N. Lime Street
Lancaster, PA 17602
Hours: Tuesday-Saturday, 10-4; Sunday, 12-4
Admission by donation.
This exhibit is sponsored by Donald Burkholder.
135 N. Lime Street