While shoes serve a practical function by protecting our soles from the elements and hazards underfoot, they have also become highly ornamented objects of obsession. Whatever the materials or the cost, however, shoes always reflect the time and place in which they were made and worn and the culture that produced them. "Walk This Way," unlike any footwear exhibition in the past, places shoes—from ancient Egyptian and Nubian sandals to new acquisitions representing the best in contemporary design—throughout the MFA's galleries to illustrate their relationship to other works of art. These provocative juxtapositions provide insights into the history, ornamentation, and cultural importance of footwear. In this treasure hunt of an exhibition, visitors might find a pair of Venetian chopines next to a painting of the city by Canaletto, a woman's shoe from the late 1790s embroidered with neoclassical scrolling grape vines exhibited with an ancient statue of the Greek god Dionysus, or a pair of contemporary wedges with rococo carved heels from MIU MIU's most recent collection alongside eighteenth-century carved and gilt furniture.
 

View the exhibition tour