Walk This Way: Footwear from the Stuart Weitzman Collection of Historic Shoes
With a focus on the women who designed, manufactured, sold, and collected footwear, Walk This Way presents the story of the shoe as it has never been told before. Featuring over 110 pieces from a collection assembled over several decades by the famous shoe designer and his wife, businesswoman and philanthropist Jane Gershon Weitzman, the exhibition ranges from a pair of satin wedding shoes worn in 1838 to a pair of glam-rock platform sandals from 1970s London. These unique artifacts allow Walk This Way to approach the story of the shoe from the perspectives of collection, consumption, production, design, and presentation.
The Stuart Weitzman Collection of Historic Shoes is supplemented and contextualized by additional footwear, images, and documents drawn primarily from the collections of the New-York Historical Society museum and library, such as the pair of shoes worn by a lawyer during his evacuation from the North Tower of the World Trade Center on 9/11.
Rather than focusing on cutting-edge fashion or the artistry of a particular designer, the shoes in Walk This Way tell a larger story. Elevated above the mundane task of protecting the skin of the foot from the crust of the earth, these shoes transcend their utilitarian purpose. As objects of desire and deliberation, they call up abstract considerations—like the freighted meanings of femininity, power, domination, and aspiration—for both women and men alike.
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|Henry Morrison Flagler Museum||January 28, 2020 – January 10, 2021|
|Taft Museum of Art||February 27, 2021 – June 6, 2021|
|Paine Art Center and Garden||June 26, 2021 – October 10, 2021|
An illustrated companion book accompanies the exhibition. Written by Edward Maeder, the founding director of the Bata Shoe Museum in Toronto. Essays by Stuart A. Weitzman, the founder of the eponymous shoe company, and Valerie Paley, New-York Historical's Vice-President, Chief Historian, and Director of the Center for Women's History.