'Snapshot' Exhibits

'Snapshot' exhibits are occasional small-scale themed displays, on view for one or more weeks. Smaller and less formal than an exhibition, they consist of three to ten display cases, and are usually in the lobby and/or lower (B1) level.

We may feature items from our own collection, or loaned items, or both, in a 'Snapshot' exhibit. Keep an eye out for these little tastes of something new during your visit.

The Shoe Project at the Bata Shoe Museum
The Bata Shoe Museum is proud to be the host for "The Shoe Project", a series of essays written by women who have immigrated to Canada and the shoes that accompanied them on their journey. While not currently on display, the stories for all three installments of The Shoe Project can be found here.

Previous Exhibitions

From Function to Fashion: Platform and Wedge Footwear of the 1930s and 1940s

June 12th - July 6th, 2014

Platform shoes were first worn as beach footwear in the 1930s, as the popularity of outdoor recreation and cruise holidays was rising, and were at the height of fashionability during World War II. At the same time, wedges—a shoe where the space between the heel and the sole is filled in—emerged as standard urban footwear for European and North American women.

Not unlike the modern-day commentary on platforms and wedges, their functional nature and heavy appearance were initially criticized by women and observers alike—Salvatore Ferragamo himself anticipated that his orthopaedic “wedgies” would not be favourably received by his elite clientele. Early on, Vogue magazine encouraged women to embrace the wedge’s “clumsy” appearance, eventually crafting a narrative that tied the shoe to broader social issues during the war years. Platform and wedge shoes remained ubiquitous until the late 1940s, and eventually re-emerged as one of the most recognizable styles of the 1970s.

Cork Soles
Bally, Switzerland, 1937-1940. Cork soles became popular when wartime material shortages meant innovative use needed to be made of unvconventional materials.

Collection of the Bata Shoe Museum
Photo credit: Image © 2014 Bata Shoe Museum, Toronto, Canada

Sensible Wedges
Seymour Troy, New York, 1940-1950. During the war years Vogue encouraged it's readers to demonstrate their patriotism through shoe restraint and sensibility as well as through the act of walking.

Collection of the Bata Shoe Museum
Photo credit: Image © 2014 Bata Shoe Museum, Toronto, Canada

Wartime Materials
French, 1944-45. Straw shoes with wooden platforms are a good example of the use of alternative materials during wartime.

Collection of the Bata Shoe Museum
Photo credit: Image © 2014 Bata Shoe Museum, Toronto, Canada

England, Rayne, 1949-50. Exoticized platform footwear of the period reflected Middle Eastern, Turkish, or vaguely “Oriental” inspirations.

Collection of the Bata Shoe Museum
Photo credit: Image © 2014 Bata Shoe Museum, Toronto, Canada

A Snapshot of Tuscany: Unconventional Portraits
June 25th - September 2nd, 2013

The Bata Shoe Museum is excited to showcase the work of Italian photographer Matteo Brogi in celebration of Italian Heritage Month. This snapshot exhibition is on display in our B1 foyer.

Sophisticated and beautiful, Unconventional Portraits offers visitors the opportunity to "meet" the students, dancers, architects, fashion designers, wine producers, celebrity butchers, perfume makers and carabinieri that represent Italian society explored from the knee down. Revealing varied passions and lifestyles, Matteo's work masterfully conveys an intricate weaving of emotion and story through the lens, illustrating the important role that footwear plays in the modern Italian identity.

An exhibition catalogue is available in the Museum gift shop beginning June 5.

UNICEF at the BSM - Boots of Canadian Humanitarian Nigel Fisher on Display
November 1st - 25th, 2012

Nigel Fisher, Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General in Haiti, Sonja Bata, Founding Chairman of the Bata Shoe Museum, David Morley, President and CEO, UNICEF Canada and Patty Fisher, wife of Nigel Fisher, induct Mr. Fisher’s well-worn boots which have saved over 980,000 lives on November 1 at the Bata Shoe Museum in Toronto.

United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) is the world’s leading child-focused humanitarian and development agency. As a member of the UN, UNICEF is active in more countries and saves more children’s lives than any other humanitarian organization.

UNICEF is supported entirely by voluntary donations and helps all children, regardless of race, religion or politics. Undaunted by war, disaster, disease and logistical complexity, UNICEF takes on the fight for child survival wherever it leads. They reach the poorest, most vulnerable children in the world’s most inaccessible places, bringing them simple, life-saving essentials like vaccines and clean water.

Nigel Fisher is the Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General and United Nations Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator; prior to this he served as President and Chief Executive Officer of UNICEF Canada. He has lived and worked in a dozen developing countries in Asia, the Middle East and Africa, and has devoted considerable time to the protection of children affected by armed conflict. Nigel has been awarded the Meritorious Service Cross in recognition of his humanitarian work in crises.

Nigel has agreed to donate his well-worn boots to the Bata Shoe Museum’s permanent collection. They come to rest here after many years of international travel; covering well over 100,000 km. They have trekked into some of the most remote regions of Nepal, India, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Indonesia, Kenya, Congo, Rwanda, Malawi, Mozambique, Haiti and of course Canada.

We are honoured to have the boots in our collection not only because they belonged to Nigel but because they are a powerful representation of the thousands of UNICEF workers who are stationed around the world making the lives of children more secure.

"Pitter Patter: Little Feet and the Influence of Adult Styles"
On display until September 30th, 2011

This exhibit examines shoes from the 19th and 20th century while illustrating how children’s shoes have mimicked the style and function of adult shoes throughout many cultures. On the B1 Level of The Bata Shoe Museum, visitors may look at shoes across the globe. The shoes speak to the roles and lives of children in the culture and time the shoes were made and worn.

North American 19th century adult and child workboots

Adult and child Manchurian platforms

"The New Woman" 1890's - 1910's: These Boots Were Made For Walking"

On display from June 20th to July 24th

Curated by summer intern Nicole Richie, this snapshot exhibition examines some of the footwear of the women at the turn of the 20th century. Before visiting our exhibition "The Roaring Twenties: Heels, Hemlines and High Spirits", this snapshot exhibition is provides an introduction to the footwear of women just before the changes of the 20s.

Jeanne Beker: Finding Myself in Fashion - June 2nd to 19th

In celebration of the launch of her new book "Finding Myself in Fashion", we are very excited to have a retrospective of shoes belonging to Jeanne Beker on display on our B1 level. Up until June 19th, this snapshot exhibition features shoes hand selected by the Canandian style icon, covering some her life in fashion world.

Year of the Rabbit: Celebrating Asian Heritage Month - May 2011

Visit our B1 level to see a beautiful snapshot exhibition of whimsical rabbit-inspired artefacts on loan from the collection of Glenn and Judy Roberts. These rare objects are featured in celebration of Asian Heritage Month and will be on display until the end of May 2011.

The Dalai Lama Donation and Special Tibetan Exhibition

The Bata Shoe Museum is very excited to announce the recent donation of His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s flip flops to the Museum’s permanent collection. Presented in person by Mr. Lobsang Nyendak, the North American representative to His Holiness, the well-worn Bata manufactured footwear are currently on view in a special exhibition which also features examples of Tibetan footwear from the Museum’s private collection. The presentation coincided with His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s three day trip to Toronto and the donation was accepted by Director Emanuele Lepri on behalf of Sonja Bata, Founding Chairman of the Bata Shoe Museum.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s donated footwear, as well as the special Tibetan exhibition will be on view until December 30, 2010.

Art to Boot - An Annual Fundraiser Benefitting Sketch (2010)

This year's Blundstones are as outrageous and original as ever! These artist-designed Blundstone boots are on display from August 17th to September 22nd. Come check them out (included in regular admission) and vote on your favourite! The boots will then be auctioned off at a fundraiser to be held at the Gladstone Hotel on September 23rd with the proceeds going to Sketch, an organization which creates art making opportunities for young people who live street-involved and homeless or who are considered to be at risk.

Year of the Tiger – Celebrating Asian Heritage Month at the Bata Shoe Museum

A beautiful snapshot exhibition of tiger-inspired artefacts on loan from the collection of Glenn and Judy Roberts. These rare objects were featured in celebration of Asian Heritage Month

Toddler's tiger shoes, embroidered and
appliquéd silk, late 19th century.
Collection of Glenn and Judy Roberts.

Infant's tiger wind bonnet, late 19th century.
Collection of Glenn and Judy Roberts.


Paper Glamour - Thierry Agnone at the Bata Shoe Museum

A unique and captivating 'snapshot’ exhibition of delicate paper shoe sculptures by French artist, Thierry Agnone. Fresh yet complex, these art pieces captured the essence of shoes at their most exquisite.

"Thierry Agnone’s beautiful poetic shoe shapes present us with sheer pleasure. His romantic fantasies are little dream shoes with their refined and elegant designs. Although their shapes reflect contemporary fashion trends, they seem to come from another world – a dream world inhabited by ethereal fairies. His creativity seems unlimited. Looking at Thierry’s refined shapes is a delightful experience."
          ~ Sonja Bata


Boot it Up - A Fashion and Visual Arts Fundraising Celebration to Support SKETCH (2009)

The Bata Shoe Museum is pleased to annually host a display of the top Blundstone boots from “Boot it Up”- A Fashion and Visual Arts Fundraising Celebration to Support SKETCH - Working Arts for Street-Involved and Homeless Youth. For the annual “Boot it Up” fundraiser, forty pairs of Blundstone boots are decorated by local artists and celebrities and then these unique and outrageous boots are sold at auction to raise funds for SKETCH. The top 20 boots are displayed here at the Bata Shoe Museum, usually in early September. For information on this event check out www.sketch.ca/bootitup09/

Here is a sample of some of the unusual works of art from previous exhibitions!

Artist - Grip Limited

Artist - Partners & Edell

Artist - Sapient Canada

Artist - Tam Vo

Celebrating the Year of the Ox – Chinese New Year at the Bata Shoe Museum

In celebration of Chinese New Year and the Year of the Ox, we showcased this special temporary exhibition featuring Chinese textiles and art incorporating playful and unusual ox designs on loan from the collection of Glenn and Judy Roberts.

All Artifacts Courtesy of Glenn Roberts


Information about selected previous 'Snapshot' exhibits, including any information for media, is available in our ARCHIVE section.

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