Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Bata Shoe Museum

The Bata Shoe Museum in Toronto explores just one theme: footwear. 

The exhibits take up four floors of the museum, with displays showing the history and cultural variation of shoes, sandals, slippers, boots, and even snowshoes. 

Two strengths of the displayed collection are the footwear of Native Americans and fashion shoes from 1920-1950. 

The Native American room has moveable benches, but sketchers might want to bring their own stools for the other rooms.

I drew the sketches with: Caran D'Ache watercolor pencils and a Niji Waterbrush in a Moleskine Watercolor Notebook.
If you go, here's a tip: Pick up a "second person free" coupon, which appears in the tourist booklets.


Tom Hart said...

That Dutch show would sell well today!

As always, very striking sketches, and a good reminder that even a "simple" inanimate object can be a very satisfying subject.

P.T. Waugh said...

Good references for another Dinotopia book

Anonymous said...

I agree with PT Waugh, I instantly had the same impression. Don't know if it's the style of painting, the style of shoe, or both :)

Steve said...

Thanks for bringing the Bata to our attention.

It's a common art class assignment, from elementary school on up, for students to make drawings of shoes. Here you are, decades into your practice, still finding delight, challenge, and meaning in this humble exercise. It's this spirit that makes this blog special.

Anonymous said...

Toronto is one awesome city...as is Ottawa, the countries capital....and anywhere in Quebec, and especially the Eastern Townships, Charlevois area, and Quebec City....An amazing Country...and this is just the tip of sheer stunning beauty that Canada is.

K_tigress said...

Been there done that 15 years ago I think it was.
The Inuit and the Japanese shoes were my favorite because the wild stories that came with them.
The fact that the Inuit women fashioned the shoes with their teeth. After awhile their teeth would be useless, which in their culture made the woman useless. They were then left out of the huts to become dinner for the bears. At least that’s the story I read but how much of it was true really beats me.

Oh and those poor Japanese women had to ender years of torture with their feet just because it was both tradition and fashion to make their feet tiny.

Rich said...

Love to look at the footwear here -perhaps putting on Bob Ross' shoes wasn't a bad idea:-)

Just a question: Suppose one has a look at those items in the museum. Three years later one tries to recall them in one's memory.
Now the same thing, recalling the items, but after having them sketched out or painted on the spot: Won't they remain much clearer in the memory?
Or in other words: all the things and people you have been drawing in your lifetime: Don't you remember them clearly and in a more distinct way?

Susan Sorger said...

I live here and I always wanted to go. No one wants to come with me. I guess I'll just go myself and sketch. Never thought of that till you set the example.

Jim, do you take a full set of 120 watercolour pencils with you or do you tend to use just a select few?

Jenny Woolf said...

Another interesting thing in Toronto. I really wanted to go there when I visited but although I visited a few times, problems always came up when it came to visiting this museum.

in the end I began to think Fate didn't want me to!

But if I go back, I'll try again, even so....

James Gurney said...

Thanks, Tom and Steve. As far as humble subjects, my hero is Adolf Menzel, who painted his not-too-pretty foot. Nothing is too humble--it's all amazing.

PT and Anon, no plans to use these for anything--just a museum-going habit to get myself to slow down and look.

Susan, I just take a pencil box with a dozen different colors, but only use four or five on a given drawing.

Rich, definitely. I can call up a very specific memory of something I've sketched.

K Tigress, yes, good story. I was both fascinated and a little horrified by the traditional footbinding.

ANN said...

Fantastic, the Shoe Museum! I love this idea. Last year I was in Ireland as an Au Pair, in The Museum of Country Life which is located in Turlough Village, Co. Mayo, where I saw a lot of traditional dress, it was amazing. I hope I'll go to shoe also. Thanks for photos and drawings. Greetings