Museum Monday: the history of high-heeled shoes

When I leave the airport and have a day or two to spend in a city, I’m always armed with a list of special museum exhibitions and local offbeat collections open to the public.

That’s how I knew to leave a few hours free in Yakima, Washington recently to visit the Yakima Valley Museum, which has a display of 600 pairs of exquisite high-heeled shoes from the collection of David Childs, who told me that the museum-quality footwear from the 1800s to the present (much of it my size; but alas, securely behind alarmed glass) was just half of his collection.

“I don’t do flats, boots, practical shoes, matching handbags or sets,” said Childs, “This is a cultural history of the 20th century as told through pristine, displayable, high-heeled shoes.”

By that he means Art Deco shoes from the 1920 and 1930s, platform, ankle-strap shoes of the 1940’s, pointed stiletto heels from the 50s and other eras (“Wait around and the styles come back,” says Childs) and some unusual, experimental and one-of-a kind models from the 1950s and 60s.

Here’s a short video about the exhibit put together by the Yakima Herald Republic.

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