Judith Leiber: Crafting a New York Story

Museum of Art and Design (MAD)

2 Columbus Circle
New York, NY 10019

(212) 299-7777


General admission: $16.00, seniors: $14.00, students: $12.00

Event Dates

Apr 08, 2017

Apr 15, 2017

Apr 22, 2017

Apr 29, 2017

May 06, 2017

May 13, 2017

May 20, 2017

May 27, 2017

Jun 03, 2017

Jun 10, 2017

Jun 17, 2017

Jun 24, 2017

Jul 01, 2017

Jul 08, 2017

Jul 15, 2017

Jul 22, 2017

Jul 29, 2017

Aug 05, 2017


Mon: Closed; Tue-Wed:10:00am - 6:00pm; Thur: 10:00am - 9:00pm; Fri, Sat, Sun: 10:00am - 6:00pm

Judith Leiber: Crafting a New York Story

Judith Leiber spent sixty-five years in the handbag industry, from an apprentice in Budapest to the owner of an internationally renowned handbag company based in New York City. As the only female pattern-maker, and with the unusual ability to make a handbag from start to finish, Leiber brought a distinctly European training and skill set to the United States, where handbags were made with assembly-line skill division. This allowed her not only to succeed as a designer, but also to revolutionize the meaning of handbag craftsmanship for the American consumer.

Judith Leiber: Crafting a New York Story tells the tale of this illustrious craftswoman, designer, and businesswoman. The exhibition includes handbags that encompass the history of her eponymous company, which Leiber founded in 1963 at the age of forty-two, through 2004, when she designed her last handbag. Although biographical in nature, the exhibition also explores the gendered significance of the handbag in twentieth-century Western culture, and the centrality of immigrant entrepreneurship in the fabric of New York.