On a Pedestal: From Renaissance Chopines to Baroque Heels
On a Pedestal, installed in the third floor gallery at the Bata Shoe Museum, was a 3500 square foot show that brought together extraordinary shoes and extreme fashions of the Venetian Renaissance. Display elements included rare examples of Renaissance and Baroque footwear on loan from numerous renowned museums, including: Victoria and Albert Museum (London), Museo Bardini (Florence), Castello Sforzesco (Milan), Livrustkammaren and Skoklosters Slott (Stockholm), Museo Palazzo Mocenigo and Museo Correr (Venice), Ambras Castle (Austria), Boston Museum of Fine Art (Boston), and Royal Ontario Museum (Toronto), as well as shoes from the museum’s own collection.
The primary design challenge was to find a tasteful way to create an immersive, 16th century, period-like environment. In order to achieve this we began with a custom wallpaper design, inspired by the palate and motifs of the day. We then added organizational structure to the interior using purchased columns, combined with ornate, custom-built arches and profiles. The overall effect was one of intimate spaces, carefully crafted to highlight the richness of the displays. The design was influenced by Venetian courtyards, which aligned with the client’s vision of the era. Our project scope included the exhibition catalogue, as well as marketing materials. Our poster design featured a fantastic, column-like shoe, connecting the collection to the architecture within the space—and a typographic window, offering a glimpse into the decadent materials on display.
Bata Shoe Museum, Toronto, ON, 2009
Exhibit Space: 3,200 sq. ft.