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Follow in the Footsteps of Women’s History at the Dallas Holocaust and Human Rights Museum

From high-buttoned leather boots to retro stilettos, these shoes tell stories about women from the fight for suffrage to the sexual revolution.

“Shoes are artifacts of history, and by looking at the shoes women wore, we can see the rights and liberties they had or lacked.”

March is Women’s History Month and what better way to celebrate than by admiring hundreds of pairs of shoes. This month through July 14, the Dallas Holocaust and Human Rights Museum is hosting a special exhibition, Walk this Way: Footwear from the Stuart Weitzman Collection of Historic Shoes. Tickets to view the exhibition can be purchased here.

Walk this Way features more than 100 striking pairs of shoes – spanning nearly 200 years – from the collection of iconic shoe designer Stuart Weitzman and businesswoman and philanthropist Jane Gershon Weitzman. Organized by the New-York Historical Society, the exhibition presents the story of the shoe as it has never been told before.

At Walk this Way, the footsteps of women’s history are on display. Throughout the exhibition, visitors can imagine what it would be like to walk a mile in the shoes of world leaders, film stars, and the women who fought for the right to vote. Shoes on view range from designs to be worn in the privacy of a woman’s home, shoes that American suffragists wore as they marched through city streets, heels that reflected changing norms of female aesthetics, and professional shoes suitable for the increasing numbers of women in the workforce.

The Museum elected to showcase the exhibition because it aligns with its Pivot to America wing, which explores the ideals of our nation and how we continue striving to live up to them.

 “We like to use our rotating exhibitions to do a deeper exploration of the history we teach,” says Mary Pat Higgins, president and CEO of the Dallas Holocaust and Human Rights Museum. “This will be the first time we have had a special exhibition focused on women’s history. Shoes are artifacts of history and by looking at the shoes women wore, we can see the rights and liberties they had and those they were denied. By highlighting the stories of women and their shoes, we hope our visitors will get a fresh perspective on history and learn the important mark women have made on our society.”

When browsing the exhibition, be sure to look for these unique shoes that embody the exhibition’s importance:

  • A pair of pumps worn by Queen Victoria in the 1860s
  • A pair of Spectator pumps signed by the 1941 Yankees. These shoes likely belonged to a girlfriend of baseball legend Joe DiMaggio, identified as “the A1 Girl Fan of the Yanks.”
  • A pair of Ferragamo’s handmade black needlepoint Tuscan lace heels designed for actress Sophia Loren
  • The Empowerment Shoe designed by student Samantha Efobi, for a competition Stuart Weitzman and the New-York Historical Society sponsored in 2017 for high school students
  • Suffragist boots from the early 20th century, where America saw a revolution in women’s political participation as the fight for the vote moved from drawing rooms to the streets.

The Walk the Way exhibition is a way to show that fashion is about so much more than clothes. There is historical relevance and meaning behind the clothes and shoes that people wear. Says Higgins, “Fashion has cultural significance and mirrors the values, beliefs, and customs of a specific era. By examining the history of fashion, we can understand how society has been impacted and changed over time.”

Walk this Way will be on view until July 14, 2024. The Museum is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day, except Tuesdays. Tickets may be purchased here. The special exhibition is included in admission. 

The Dallas Holocaust and Human Rights Museum is grateful for the generous support of this special exhibition from supporting sponsor Neiman Marcus. Additional support is provided by the Bank of Texas, Dallas Tourism Public Improvement District, Match Group, NFI, NorthPark Center, Toyota, Vaquero Private Wealth, and Joyce B. Cowin. Community partners include Dallas College School of Creative Arts, Entertainment, and Design, The Family Place, Junior League of Dallas, League of Women Voters, National Council of Jewish Women Greater Dallas, and Texas Fashion Collection at the University of North Texas.

To learn more about the exhibition and to make plans for your visit to follow the footsteps of history, go to