Sunday, August 28, 2016


The Bata Shoe Museum in Toronto, Canada

While passing through Toronto for my Aunt's 80th birthday banquet, my Honey and I stop at the Bata Shoe Museum on a pay-as-you-will Thursday evening. With 15 minutes until closing, we cycle through the exhibits in record pace. Complementing the semi-permanent exhibit, shoes spread across styles and seasons span 3 rotating exhibit galleries. Keep reading for a look inside... 

All About Shoes--the museum's semi-permanent exhibition

Curled with age, a striking pair of sequined Mojaris (c.1840) stand out in the vast sea of chausseurs. On the ground and basement levels, All About Shoes explores the footwear evolution and shifting symbollism over the last 4,500 years. Manifest in the methods and materials of manufacture, design responds to politics, society and trends. What's Their Line showcases shoes with a purpose--whether ordinary or extraordinary--and Footprints on the World Stage give visitors a point of comparison as they step into the footprints of Napoleon, Madonna, Pierre Trudeau and others. An array of shoes near the stairs invites guests to try on for social media.

Museum guests can try on different shoes

Heels on hommes are historically hampered by a stigma of ego and citings of discomfort. The slate of shoes on display in Standing Tall: The Curious History of Men in Heels showcases a rare look at heels and their influence on performers, designers and history. Of note are John Lennon's 1960 Beatle boot and Elton John's Ferradini platform shoes. Footwear from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries present historical views on heeled shoes.

Master John boot by Canadian designer Mast John (1973)

The flat heel

Elton John's Ferradini Platforms

Capping the world with cool temperatures and barren landcape, the Arctic circle cultivates a challenging climate for its inhabitants. Art & Innovation: Traditional Footwear from the Bata Shoe Museum Collection presents a comprehensive view of traditional arctic footwear culled from the Museum's permanent collection. Stay tuned for Part 2.

Exhibition view

Poor seals, but warm boots!

Western Siberia

Boots of Greenland

Beads and fur


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