Toronto’s Bata Shoe Museum Explores Footwear in the Age of Enlightenment in New 18th Century Exhibition – PRNewswire

Posted: August 16, 2020 at 9:54 am


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The Age of Enlightenment was a period in European history from the end of the 17th to the end of the 18th century when Western philosophers and scientists wrestled with concepts of 'human nature' and 'natural rights'. Some argued that all people had inherent social and political rights but many more advocated for the reordering of social hierarchies using 'scientific' proof to divide people through the identification of 'natural' differences such as gender and race. Much of the oppression and imperialism that marked the period was supported by these ideas.

"Throughout the 18th century, Western fashion, including footwear, was central to the 'naturalization' of difference in Europe," says Elizabeth Semmelhack, Creative Director and Senior Curator at the Bata Shoe Museum. "Distinctions between men and women, children and adults, Europeans and 'Others' became increasingly codified through clothing. Yet, European fashion was also used to blur the lines between classes as social mobility and access to consumable goods grew as a result of imperialism."

The exhibition was thoughtfully designed by the award-winning designers Arc + Co who focused on creating a space that engages with the powerful themes and issues of the 18th century explored in this gallery. With loans from the Gardiner Museum, the design also includes a look at contemporary footwear, asking visitors to reflect on shoes and society today. Highlights include:

The BSM thanks partners Ontario Cultural Attractions Fund and the Toronto Star. More information about The Great Divide can be found here, along with a teaser video here.

Celebrating 25 years of the World at Your Feet with a growing international collection of over 14,000 shoes and related artefacts, the Bata Shoe Museum showcases 4,500 years of footwear history. batashoemuseum.ca, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook YouTube channel

SOURCE Bata Shoe Museum

http://www.batashoemuseum.ca

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Toronto's Bata Shoe Museum Explores Footwear in the Age of Enlightenment in New 18th Century Exhibition - PRNewswire

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August 16th, 2020 at 9:54 am

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