Open Forum

 View Only

 Research question

Rene Rodgers's profile image
Rene Rodgers posted 06-13-2024 04:40 PM
Hello everyone, We are hoping to work with a bootmaker for an exhibit in the future, and she is in the process of doing research that would inform that project, along with other work she is doing. We suggested to her that museum folks in the AAM Open Forum might be able to help with her research questions or have advice on who/which institution to reach out to for advice.
Here are her questions: "I’m looking for a source to find out more information about shoes and boots that were entered into World Expositions in the mid-to-late 1800s. I occasionally run across a shoe that’s listed as “entered in World Exposition, year 18**”. Have there ever been exhibits that brought together many boots and shoes that were entered? Is there a book featuring boots and shoes entered in World Exhibitions? Is there a scholar out there I should contact?"
Any thoughts or suggestions most welcome, thank you!
Rene Rodgers
Head Curator, Birthplace of Country Music Museum
Gurufateh Khalsa's profile image
Gurufateh Khalsa

Hi Rene - There is a fabulous shoe museum in Toronto Canada called the Bata Shoe Musuem - here is there website - perhaps they can advise…. 

Melissa Leventon's profile image
Melissa Leventon

Hi Rene,

In addition to the Bata museum, the Northampton Museum in England has a significant collection of shoes and may have information for your researcher.  She can reach them here:  Many of the major art museums in the U.S. have significant costume collections that include important shoes and may have some that were entered in Worlds Fairs--she could start with the Met and work her way around the country. There is also an important book about women's shoes published some years ago by historian Nancy Rexford called Women's Shoes in America, 1795-1930 that may offer her some information.  And finally, I'd recommend she post her question on the Costume Society of America's Listserv (or find a member to do it for her if she's not a member) where a number of curators will likely see it and can respond to her directly.

Brian Mattlin's profile image
Brian Mattlin

You've already been given a lot of excellent leads to track down, but I would add the Fashion Institute of Technology in NYC. As a fashion-focused teaching/academic institution, FIT might be plugged in to research resources.

Rene Rodgers's profile image
Rene Rodgers

Thank you Gurufateh, Melissa, and Brian -- these answers are so helpful! I've passed them on to the bootmaker, and she was thrilled to have such useful leads. I appreciate the help!