Toronto’s Bata Shoe Museum houses over 12,500 shoes and artefacts from around the world, including many shoes of notable people, including Marilyn Monroe, Margot Fonteyn, Margaret Atwood, the Dalai Lama, John Lenon, Madonna, and Shaquille O’Neal, whose legendary sneakers size 22 are on display in the permanent collection of the museum.
Established in 1995 to house the vast collection of shoes accumulated by Sonja Bata and the Bata Shoe Museum Foundation, the museum is located at 327 Bloor St. West in downtown Toronto, in the 39,000 square foot building, designed by Moriyama and Teshima Architects.
The museum’s flagship exhibition, All About Shoes, is a voyage through 4500 years of footwear: its evolution, uses over time, methods and materials of manufacture, and its place in our lives and imaginations. It includes ancient funerary sandals, Chinese silk shoes, haute couture pumps and a display of celebrity shoes found in the “Star Turns” mini-theatre.
The museum also features an exhibition of native North American foot ware created by Indigenous peoples from diverse regions of North America, ninety pairs of shoes, boots and moccasins showcase exquisite craftsmanship, regional patterns, and beautiful decoration. The exhibition features rarely seen artefacts chosen entirely from the Bata Shoe Museum’s foremost and comprehensive collection of Native footwear.
Opening on June 18th, 2014, the museum will host a new exhibition, entitled “Fashion Victims: The Pleasures and Perils of Dress in the 19th Century” curated by senior curator Elizabeth Semmelhack. Don’t miss it!