Celebrate Your Right to Shoes with the New-York Historical Society

Written by | Art & Design

All photos courtesy of the New York Historical Society

Footwear obsessives, rejoice: the New-York Historical Society just opened a high-stepping new exhibit called Walk This Way.

The exhibition showcases footwear from the Stuart Weitzman Collection of Historic Shoes — specifically 100 pairs from his private collection, which he assembled over three decades with his wife Jane Gershon Weitzman. You can find it in the Joyce B. Cowin Women’s History Gallery beginning Friday, April 20.

Walk This Way will surprise and delight visitors with its unexpected lens on women’s history through Stuart Weitzman’s unparalleled historic footwear collection,” says Dr. Louise Mirrer, president and CEO of the New-York Historical Society.

Walk This Way will provide viewers with perspectives on collection, consumption, presentation, and production. From personal mementos such as satin bridal slippers to beaded strapped evening shoes worn at ballroom dances, shoes of all stripes will be on display — even pairs dating back to 1800s, like a pair of pink silk embroidered boudoir shoes from 1847.

“Shoes on view range from designs to be worn in the privacy of a woman’s home, shoes that American suffragists wore as they marched through city streets, ‘sexy’ heels that reflected changing norms of female aesthetics, and professional shoes suitable for the increasing numbers of women in the workforce. We are thrilled to be able to offer the public this unique opportunity to explore the private collection of a collector extraordinaire who is also America’s top shoe designer,” Mirrer added.

Walk This Way also provides a walkthrough of the shoemaking process and how women in the shoemaking workforce — in addition to the rise in department store popularity at the turn of the 20th century — made history in 1904 when the Boot & Shoe Workers Union constitution called for “uniform wages for the same class of work, regardless of sex.”

The exhibition is slated to strut its stuff through October.  Learn more by visiting the New-York Historical Society.

Last modified: July 9, 2018