The Victoria and Albert Museum, London, world’s largest museum of decorative arts and design, has announced that its Autumn exhibition for 2015 will be Shoes: Pleasure and Pain. The exhibition will run from 13 June 2015 until 31 January 2016, and will explore the extremes of footwear from around the globe, its cultural significance and transformative capacity.
Exhibition curator Helen Persson was inspired by the beauty of the Indian shoes and the stories behind them. “It all started on a lovely day in Spring 2010, when I came across all these drawers in one of the V&A stores – full of lovely Indian shoes. The shoes were weird and wonderful, and to me unfamiliar.” She says “There were curly toes, long toes, shoes made out of rich and colourful materials, embroidery with iridescent green beetle wings, silk, spangles and lots and lots of gold. It was like opening a treasure chest.”
The exhibition will present around 250 pairs of shoes ranging from a sandal decorated in pure gold leaf originating from ancient Egypt to the most detailed designs by contemporary makers and will discuss how shoes are powerful indicators of gender, status, identity, taste and sexual preference. Shoes donated by many famous wearer and collectors will be displayed alongside a dazzling range of historic shoes, many of which will be displayed for the very first time.
|Indian wedding shoe, 1800s|
|Chopines, about 1600|
|Egyptian sandal, 30 BCE - 300 CE|
|Italian chopines, 1600|
|Evening sling-backs, silk satin, gold braid, sequins, paste jewels, Roger Vivier for Christian Dior, 1952-54|
|Red satin slippers, satin and leather embroidered with metal thread and spangles, India, 1800s|
|Roger Vivier for Christian Dior, 1958-60|
|Invisible Naked Version by Andreia Chaves, 2011|
|Marbled and gilded leather mens shoes, 1925|
|Sophia Webster, 2013|
|Caroline Groves Parakeet shoes, 2014|
(Image Credit:Victoria and Albert Museum)