From ancient Nubian sandals to modern-day Manolos, footwear and true works of art are being paired up by Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts. Through March 23, “Walk This Way” unites shoes with their artistic muses throughout the centuries. Examples include Vivienne Westwood platform shoes from her spring 1991 collection in a twill-weave pattern set alongside 18th-century silk damask fabric; Turkish bath stilts with an 1870 painting, Moorish Bath, by Jean-Léon Gérôme, and 17th-century square-toed numbers alongside their diminutive style twins in a Margaret Gibbs portrait. Miu Miu’s rococo-inspired platform wedges from the fall 2006 collection are flanked by similarly gilded 18th-century wood panels. And a pair of Delman strappy heels worn by Marilyn Monroe is next to Andy Warhol’s 1967 Pop Art depiction of the sultry screen gem.
The exhibition also mixes dance and sports items. For example, Russian ballet pointe shoes are juxtaposed with Edgar Degas’ bronze sculpture, Little Fourteen-Year-Old Dancer, while Red Sox pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka’s Nike baseball cleat sits next to a Greek Panathenaic prize vase from 530-520 B.C.