Shoe of the Month – First World War Centenary Boots

First World War Centenary Boots

These ‘boots’ were made by artist Val Goldfinch. They were inspired by the centenary of the First World War. The first ‘boot’ is made from an old last and a map of Northamptonshire representing where it would have been made. During the First World War 70 million pairs of boots and shoes were made for the UK’s Forces and allies, with just under 40 million being made in Northampton and the County 

Val Goldfinch First World War Boot

Val Goldfinch First World War Boot

The other ‘boot’ represents its use in the trenches. The last has been built up and the boot is lined with a reproduction trench map and the bootlace has turned into barbed wire and is ‘Battle Scarred’

Val Goldfinch First World War Boot 'Battle Scarred'

Val Goldfinch First World War Boot ‘Battle Scarred’

Shoe of the Month – Best Foot Forward

Best Foot Forward

We’re always interested in adding contemporary designer footwear to our shoe collection.

These black patent leather peep toe mules are by the designer Yves Saint Laurent. circa 2005. They were donated earlier this year along with other designer examples.

YSL is a luxury fashion house founded by the designer Yves Saint Laurent and his partner Pierre Berge in 1961. Today the company markets a broad range of women and men’s ready-to-wear products, including leather goods, jewellery and of course shoes.

Yves Saint Laurent Mules

Yves Saint Laurent Mules

The mules show details that date back to the designs of the 1940s and 50s. They sport a low platform sole and open toe with a retro style bow detail, which were often seen on women’s shoes of the 1940s.

Discover more designer shoes in our collection by clicking here  http://www.northampton.gov.uk/museumcollections

Ride ‘em Cowboy

Ride ‘em Cowboy

Cowboy boots were traditionally worn by men who rode all day on horseback. The narrow toe of the boot made it easier for the cowboy to find the stirrup quickly when he mounted, and a reinforced steel arch braced him while he rode and roped standing up. The Cuban heel prevented his foot from slipping in the stirrup.

First appearing in the 1860s they may have developed from boots worn by military officers in the civil war or the footwear of Spanish conquistadors in South America.

Decoration varies widely. Early boots were made from cowhide pieces sewn together, but very soon cowboys began asking for decorative stitching, cutouts in the high tops like Texas stars and different materials. Modern examples can be highly decorated and come in the most lurid colours and materials including alligator and ostrich.

Cowboy boots have become an icon of American culture through Hollywood films and have been in and out of fashion ever since. Famous wearers include James Dean, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bruce Springsteen and Rene Zellweger.

Cowboy Boots 1940s

Cowboy Boots 1940s

 This 1940s example was made in Texas.

 

Record Breaker

Record Breaker

As the Tour de France kicks off this weekend, we are proud to present a pair of cycling shoes worn by the legendary English racing cyclist, Beryl Burton. Burton dominated women’s cycle racing in the UK, winning more than 90 domestic championships and seven world titles as well as setting numerous national records. In 1967, she set a new 12-hour time trial record of 277.25 miles – a mark that surpassed the men’s record of the time by 0.73 miles and was not superseded by a man until 1969.

She also set around 50 new national records at 10, 15, 25, 30, 50 and 100-mile distances; her final 10, 25 and 50-mile records each lasted 20 years before being broken, her 100-mile record lasted 28 years, and her 12-hour record still stands today. And with such an impressive track record, Beryl’s accomplishments led her to compete in the Grand Prix des Nations in 1967, which was a rare opportunity for women cyclists.

These shoes were worn by Burton in 1961 and they were made by Peter Salisbury of Rushden, Northamptonshire. They have a rounded up curved toe with two studs and a metal plate on the sole to fit over the pedals.

Beryl Burton Cycle Shoes

Beryl Burton Cycle Shoes

Beryl’s shoes will be on display in the Life and Sole Gallery from 1st to 31st July 2014. For more information about Northampton Museum & Art Gallery’s collections and exhibitions, visit: www.northampton.gov.uk/museums

Will He or Won’t He?

Will He or Won’t He?

These Nike Zoomair, 2010 have been worn and signed by Swiss tennis player Roger Federer.

They were purchased at a MAGS (Mines Advisory Group) charity auction using part of a Heritage Lottery Fund Collecting Cultures grant to increase the number of trainers and sports shoes we have in our collection.

Nike Zoomair

Nike Zoomair

Wimbledon starts on Monday 23 June and Roger Federer is currently ranked number 4 in the world. Federer has had an illustrious career. He has won a male tennis record 16 Grand Slam singles titles. He is one of seven male players to capture the career Grand Slam, and one of only three (along with Andre Agassi and Rafael Nadal) to do so on three different surfaces (clay, grass and hard courts).

Federer has appeared in an astonishing 22 career Grand Slam finals and holds the record of reaching the semi-finals or better of 23 consecutive Grand Slam tournaments over five and a half years from the 2004 Wimbledon Championships through to the 2010 Australian Open.

Many sports analysts, tennis critics, and former and current players consider Federer to be the greatest tennis player of all time. But, will he win this year’s Wimbledon?

 

 

Put the Boot In!

Put the Boot In!

Dylan Hartley, the captain of the Saints, wore these rugby boots in several matches.

They are a pair of white leather Blades made in Vietnam and a UK size 11.

Dylan Hartley Rugby Boots

Dylan Hartley Rugby Boots

Hartley joined Northampton Saints in the summer of 2005. On 22 July 2009 he was made the captain, replacing Bruce Reihana. In total he has made over 178 appearances for the Saints and has achieved 50 England caps.

Hartley has recently declared “I’m enjoying it. I like my role at the club and I love being captain.”

He is regarded as an important of the Northampton side with powerful performances as a hooker in the scrum and in the loose.

Dylan Hartley Rugby Boots

Dylan Hartley Rugby Boots

The museum is delighted to be able to add Dylan Hartley’s boots to the shoe collection. They find a home with ex Northampton Saints rugby player Ben Cohen’s rugby boots.

Shoe of the Month – Willem Ruys

Willem Ruys

This striking shoe sc

ulpture is called Willem Ruys and was conceived and made by the Dutch artist Joyce de Gruiter in 2011 / 2013.

With an endless source of inspiration from top designers such as Louboutin, Blahnik, Vivienne Westwood and Jimmy Choo, Joyce de Gruiter designs and manufacturers her own shoe collection Shoes 2 Make U Happy. These are shoes not to wear but to admire. Her shoe sculptures are made of mixed media and wood and finished with 22 carat gold leaf and pearlescent pigments. She takes architectural forms that although playful, sometimes undergo an ironic metamorphosis.

This shoe sculpture was inspired by the passenger ship Willem Ruys which, in the 1940s, brought the designer’s parents from Asia to Europe, which was a meeting of two opposite cultures and literally East meeting West.

Willem-Ruys Shoe Sculpture

Willem-Ruys Shoe Sculpture

The sculpture is made from wood, krijinto, pearlescent paint and gold leaf.

Northampton Museums and Art Gallery is always delighted to expand its collection of shoe sculptures from around the world.