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V&A Exhibit ‘Shoes: Pleasure and Pain’ to Open In Atlanta

The Victoria and Albert Museum exhibit, ‘Shoes: Pleasure and Pain’ is heading south. The exhibit, which debuted at the London institution in 2015, will make its way to SCAD FASH Museum of Fashion and Film in Atlanta, April 11-Aug. 13.

The traveling exhibit made its U.S. debut at the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Mass. last year.

Displaying more than 200 shoes in five themed areas, the exhibit explores the creativity, cultural significance and transformative power of footwear. The exhibit examines footwear as a symbol of social status, and how shoes have historically been used as an expression of sexual empowerment and obsession.

Famous highlights include platforms worn by Elton John, Princess Diana’s shoe lasts and the Swarovski crystal slippers featured in Disney’s 2015 film, “Cinderella.”

The exhibit also focuses on new materials and technology designers are incorporating into footwear. The last section of the exhibition, “Touching the Sole,” enables visually-impaired visitors, youth tours, SCAD students and community members to participate and see the exhibition through tactile experience. This display challenges the conventional museum model by allowing visitors to explore and touch the footwear. Visitors can even use blindfolds to experience the shoes by touch only.