A shoe is the protective armor of the foot, providing stability, status, and warmth. After the creation of one of the first shoes—leather sandals crafted by the Egyptians about 3,500 BCE—footwear became fashion when the Romans merged their productive skill with Greek design and established shoes as signatures of social status. Ever since, shoe designs have reflected the cultural choices of the designer, maker, and wearer.
This remarkable exhibition includes more than 120 examples of imaginative and provocative shoes made by American contemporary artists between 2004 and 2008. Materials range from clay, metal, fabric, wood, glass, and paper. The shoes, while sometimes whimsical, often communicate multiple meanings and stories that speak to issues of gender, history, sexuality, class, race, and culture.
Artists include Jan Hopkins, Judy Haberl, Sergei Isupov, Marjorie Schick, Willie Cole, and Chunghie Lee.
The exhibition, curated by Wendy Tarlow Kaplan, is organized by the Fuller Craft Museum, Brockton, Massachusetts. An illustrated catalog accompanies the exhibition.