What’s in My Bag? March 2022

Raphaela Platow.

Featuring Speed Director Raphaela Platow


By Lane Levitch
Photos by Andrea Hutchinson


With the Speed Ball and a new exhibition nearing, all eyes are on the Speed Art Museum. Raphaela Platow, the new Director of the Speed as of August 2021, was so gracious for us to sneak a peek into her bag. She’s lived in big cities for many years of her life, so she’s been taught to just carry what she really needs instead of schlepping items onto the subway or bikes. While talking with her, she kept repeating that she’s pretty practical. “If it doesn’t have to be in there, it’s just not in there.”

I’m German, carrying a German handbag from a company in Berlin. I travel to Germany at least once or twice a year, and there’s always something that travels back to America with me. I like these kinds of bags that allow you to accommodate many things; however, I’m not somebody who carries tchotchkes around. I don’t love clutter. I love creative chaos, but I don’t like clutter that gets in the way. My bags tend to be bigger so I can fit all my essentials. I usually have an apple in my bag too, but I ate it earlier.

I’m not a big makeup person, never have been, but I love lipstick. So I always have lipstick on me. The shades depend a little on what I wear. I love Chanel lipstick colors; it’s my little indulgence. Lipstick is a staple.

I have two little drawings from my kids, ages 7 and 9, inside my wallet. They are both really creative. I always carry the drawings with me, and they are my treasures. These are two little love notes in the form of drawings.

I don’t drink coffee. I’m a total tea drinker, and often while out, there’s just no tea that I am able to drink. Sometimes you go somewhere, and they have the blandest tea, so I must be prepared.

I love chocolate. Chocolate is totally essential. I always have chocolate no matter where I go. I bought this one at an airport in Palm Beach from a work trip.

I like to take notes and scribble in my notebook a lot. It helps me think. I often also have post-it notes. They are my little reminders of things that need to get done. 

I can’t stand dirty glasses, so I always have wipes for my glasses. I’m a big observer, so I need to see things clearly.

Codeswitch is the new exhibition coming up. I carry this catalog with me, so whenever I have a moment, I can read an essay, a few pages or look at the work because my days are pretty heavily scheduled. The catalogs in my bag switch based on what exhibitions are coming up. I’ve had a subscription to the Harvard Business Review forever, so you might also find that in my bag. It really depends on the week or the day. I always have big enough bags for a catalog and my computer.

Speed Art Museum
2035 S 3rd St.
Louisville, KY 40208