'Walk This Way': Taft Museum of Art exhibit travels 200 years of history with 100 pairs of shoes

Posted at 1:18 PM, Feb 26, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-26 21:34:05-05

CINCINNATI — Ever try walking a mile in someone else's shoes?

Well, that's what the new exhibition opening this Saturday at the Taft Museum of art is asking visitors to do.

"Stuart Weitzman and his wife, Jane, had collected over a hundred pairs of shoes, which are featured here in our exhibition," said Sarah Ditlinger, senior manager, marketing and strategic engagement at the Taft.

"Walk This Way: Footwear from the Stuart Weitzman Collection of Historic Shoes" is the newest exhibition at the Taft Museum of Art.

Ditlinger said the Taft exhibition actually started as a gift exchange between the famed shoe designer and his wife.

"They gave it to each other as anniversary gifts when they ran out of ideas of what to get each other," she said. "For a high fashion designer like Stuart, his wife thought maybe antique shoes will do."

The collection goes on display starting Saturday. It encompasses more than 200 years of cultural history . . . and the stories of the people who wore and made the shoes.

"I think the wonderful thing about this exhibit is there is something here for everybody, no matter what your particular interests," Ditlinger said. "I'm a huge David Bowie fan, so the rock glam shoes we have featured in 'The Rocky Horror Picture Show' is a fun one for me to see."

Visitors can see the tall red boots featured in the Broadway musical "Kinky Boots" and even a pair of shoes signed by the New York Yankees.

But that's not all.

"There's always more to the story when it comes to shoes and any piece of art or artifact. So, some of our shoes tells stories about suffrage," Ditlinger said.

There also are shoes worn by Civil Rights marchers and protesters.

"There's always just so much more to know than meets the eye," Ditlinger said. "Some may come to appreciate that footwear wasn't initially designed for anything but function, but even that function is something important."

The "Walk This Way" footwear exhibition will be on display to the public through June 6. Exhibition attendance is limited and tickets can be purchased on the museum's website.