The exhibition at the Bata Shoe Museum, Toronto will be open until February 2022

The Great Divide: Footwear in the Age of Enlightenment is the current exhibition at the Bata Shoe Museum, Toronto that tells the story of the complex period that was the Enlightenment. The exhibition touches upon highly relevant concepts that are still topical even after 300 years: such as privilege, oppression, danger, desire, race, and gender.

Between the end of the 17th and the end of the 18th century, philosophers and scientists found themselves grappling with topics such as ‘human nature’ and ‘human rights’. Clothes and footwear became instruments with which to identify and codify social classes. Alongside models from this time period, the exhibition also puts on show contemporary footwear to encourage visitors to reflect on today’s shoes and society.

The exhibition, which will close its doors in February 2022, is the first of three events celebrating the Museum’s 25th anniversary.