Saturday, February 20, 2010

Our night at the Museum: On a Pedestal...

Two Venetian Ladies - Vittore Carpaccio (1460-1526, Venice)

Last Wednesday, February 17th, we attended an incredible after-hours party at the Bata Shoe Museum.
That night, we could freely meander through the floors and collections of the Museum - as if we owned the museum for a night.
We first relaxed and sipped drinks in the lounge, while listening to the music of a live DJ and watching performance artist Faye Mullen ponder a provocative idea : I am an artist and I weigh...

Faye Mullen, using an unusual handmade scales - Photo by Shayne Gray

Then my husband and I enjoyed a new visit of the permanent collection, which I always marvel at, displayed on the basement and first floors with star pieces like the smugglers' clogs, the 17th chestnut crushers' shoes from Ardèche in France, or the minuscule women's embroidered silk shoes for bound feet worn in China, during the Han Dynasty. Finally, our friends, Cristy and Shayne, joined us, and we all went up to the 3rd floor to experience the newest exhibition : On a Pedestal, From Renaissance Chopines to Baroque Heels, featuring extreme footwear, like the 50cm high Chopines!

Venetian chopines, 16th century, on loan from Museo Palazzo Mocenigo, Venice, Italy

We learnt a lot, and played at finding the Chopines, the slap-stole shoes or other extraordinary baroque heels in the photographed paintings that were significantly illustrating the exhibit.

Slap-sole shoes, probably Italian, mid-17th century, from the collection of the Bata Shoe Museum, Toronto, Canada

Slap-sole shoe, English, mid 17th century, Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto

That night, we were offered a wonderful opportunity to learn and share our discoveries among friends. Fundamentally educational and terribly pleasant!

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