An exceptional loan of shoes at the Paris Museum of Decorative Arts

Pair of shoes, circa 1750, donation of the Société de l'Histoire du Costume, GAL1944.11.3AB © Palais Galliera /Roger-Viollet

Pair of shoes, circa 1750, donation of the Société de l'Histoire du Costume, GAL1944.11.3AB © Palais Galliera /Roger-Viollet

Palais Galliera is a partner of the exhibition "Marche et démarche. A History of Footwear" at the Paris Museum of Decorative Arts from November 7, 2019 to February 23, 2020.

After "La Mécanique des dessous" (2013) and "Tenue correcte exigée !" (2017), the Paris Museum of Decorative Arts is exploring the relationship between the body and fashion with a third part, as surprising as it is original, devoted to shoes.

The exhibition "Marche et démarche. Une hsitoire de la chaussure" examines the status of this essential accessory of everyday life, by visiting the different ways of walking, from the Middle Ages to the present day, both in the West and in non-European cultures. How do women, men and children walk through time, cultures and social groups? Nearly 500 works: shoes, paintings, photographs, art objects, films and advertisements, from public and private collections, French and foreign, offer an unusual reading of a piece of clothing, sometimes insignificant and often extraordinary.

Palais Galliera was invited by the Paris Museum of Decorative Arts to lend several shoes from its collection of fashion accessories. This loan is an opportunity to show the richness of this collection, made up of more than 4000 pairs or shoes alone, making it possible to trace the evolution of this accessory intimately linked to the body, from the beginning of the 18th century to the present day. These are very fine quality pieces, sometimes rare or characteristic of a period, carried by wealthy social classes or belonging to the more popular classes. Of particular note is the presence of a pair of shoes from the 1720s, characteristic for the height of its heel (10 cm), the extremely marked sinuosity of its profile and its very tapered toe, whose quality of its embroidery with silver thread and scroll motifs on the top of the vamp makes it a rare piece. Another pair of shoes from our collections shows a certain taste for exoticism at the end of the 1780s, and our children's shoe collection is also highlighted through this loan: two pairs from the 18th and 19th centuries show how children were put on shoes for their first steps.

 

List of works in our collection to be found in the exhibition : 

Pair of men's shoes, circa 1750, from the Société de l'Histoire du Costume, GAL1920.1.382AB 
Pair of men's shoes with patent leather upper, with wide tongue and ears, the end of which is pierced by a buttonhole with a brown silk tightening tape; brown leather-lined sides of the upper; lighter leather-lined tongue and upper edge (?); brown leather sole; red painted wooden heel; leather wear sole.

Children's shoes, 18th century, donation of the Société de l'Histoire du Costume, GAL1920.1.581 
Derby style shoe with undifferentiated brown leather foot, 2 lacing inserts (original lace toe?), 1 eyelet, round toe, thick sole, small heel.

Pair of shoes, circa 1720, donation of the Société de l'Histoire du Costume, GAL1920.1.1900AB
Light brown leather upper, upper of the upper embroidered with silver scroll thread blending with geometric decoration; leg connecting the quarters (missing buckle), square tongue; tapered pointed toe; blue leather sole lining; high heel with curved profile.

Pair of shoes, circa 1790, donation of the Société de l'Histoire du Costume, GAL1920.1.2163AB 
Pair of shoes with curved paton, brown leather upper with silk ribbon lace. Braid is slipped under the lace, around the neckline; border between the front and back covered with a ribbon; neckline triple-rowed with silk ribbon ruff; heel covered with light leather; front lining with canvas and back with light leather; clean sole with light leather; wear sole with brown leather.

Pair of shoes, circa 1750, donation of the Société de l'Histoire du Costume, GAL1944.11.3AB 
Pair of brown/black leather shoes, ornamental seams on the quarters, fastening with a perforated fringed leather leg and a yellow metal buckle, the tongue is extended with an ornate leather element that partially conceals the buckle. Small studded heels, toe caps and soles.

Pair of slippers, 1850-1872, donated by Mrs. Cossa, GAL1945.7.2(1-2) 
Pair of undifferentiated foot slippers with wool and silk tapestry upper; neckline bordered by a ruffled pink and pale green silk satin ribbon; pink leather quarter lining; pink silk taffeta front upper lining and clean sole; leather wear sole.

Pair of children's shoes, 1750-1780, donated by Mrs. Maurice Neumont, GAL1961.34.37AB
Pair of small children's pointed shoes with printed wool satin upper; front upper embroidered with sequins and metal yarns and remains of textile elements forming a flower near the hollow of the neckline; decoration of pink silk taffeta ribbons on the sides of the upper, along the median seams; pink silk taffeta ribbon lace (almost entirely disappeared) covering a silk braid forming a knot in the hollow of the neckline and held by large overlock stitches; lining of the front upper in ecru linen fabric and the back part in greased skin; greased leather clean sole; brown leather wear sole.

Fiot, pair of men's boots, circa 1880, donated by Mr. Jacques Couppé, GAL1964.7.11(1-2) 
Pair of boots; lower part of the upper in brown patent leather; front and back of the ankle area in leather and sides in elastic fabric; decoration of six mother-of-pearl buttons on the side; inner lining in cotton twill in herringbones; twill tabs on the front and back of the upper edge; leather sole; boot heel and brown leather sole.

Pair of children's shoes, 1800-1815, donated by Mrs Cossa, GAL1968.1.3 AB 
Pair of children's shoes with brown leather upper and a small metal buckle on the forefoot in the hollow of the neckline; laça through four holes using a black braided ribbon; light leather trim; light leather lining and clean sole; leather wear sole

Pair of children's boots, 1852-1870, danated by Mademoiselle Dionis du Séjour, GAL11997
Pair of children's boots; lower part of the upper in patent leather and upper part in blue cloth; closure by three metal buttons and three buttonholes; wool and skin twill lining for the buttonhole area; cleanliness sole in wool skin (or rabbit skin?); leather wear sole.

Find below the slideshow of these exceptional masterpieces! 

Visitor information : 

Exhibition "Marche et démarche. Une hsitoire de la chaussure" 
From November 7, 2019 to February 23, 2020


At the Paris Museum of Decorative Arts (MAD Paris)
107, Rue de Rivoli, 75001 Paris
+33 (0)1 44 55 57 50
Metro : Palais-Royal, Pyramides or Tuileries
Bus : 21, 27, 39, 48, 68, 69, 72, 81, 95

More information : >> www.madparis.fr