Hand Fan Museum – Healdsburg, California - Atlas Obscura

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Hand Fan Museum

This collection of hand fans doubles as a history of femininity. 


The first and only Hand Fan Museum in downtown Healdsburg, California revels in the ladylike elegance of fans.

In collecting hand fans, the museum assembles a history of femininity throughout the ages. As a small accessory used by women (as well some men), fans were witness to all sorts of cultural events. They were used as fashion accessories, of course, but also in ceremony, dance, and even in Samurai battles.

Some fans are lacy affairs covered in ribbons, some are plain paper. Some carry political messages, others have religious imagery. The museum has artifacts on exhibition dating as far back as the 18th century from all over Europe, North America, and Asia.

The museum itself is tiny, but it houses hundreds of delicate fans in cases, on the walls and in windows. The Hand Fan Museum is a lovely step back into the sartorial embellishments of yesteryear.

Know Before You Go

Just a block or two south of the plaza in downtown Healdsburg. It's a small space but easy to find.

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December 1, 2016

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