Documentation Photography, Part 1: The Image Capture Process
A Step Into The Bata Shoe Museum
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1y ago
A pair of black leather high top athletic shoes, c. 1920s, photographed in three ways to capture all of their characteristics. In my last blog installment, I announced the 2022 Digital Photography Project that is run with the assistance of the Government of Canada’s Young Canada Works in Heritage Organizations employment program. Since that blog was posted, we have been busy capturing images of artefacts in the collection. In this blog and upcoming blogs, I will go over some of the details involved in taking the actual picture, processing the image files, and getting the images saved safely t ..read more
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Conservation of a Pair of 18th Century Shoes
A Step Into The Bata Shoe Museum
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1y ago
I am retiring this summer and thought my last conservation treatment should connect to the first one. Thirty-four years ago I was hired to work on the women’s 18th century collection. It was a unique moment, as there was a BSM collection but no exhibition space. Myself and another conservator conserved the footwear that was most in need of intervention. These shoes were purchased in 1982 from a dealer specializing in historic clothing and accessories. While the embroidered silk faille vamps were very pretty, it was obvious someone had fiddled significantly with the quarters on both shoes. Remn ..read more
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Summer 2022 Young Canada Works Project at the Bata Shoe Museum
A Step Into The Bata Shoe Museum
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1y ago
This summer I am joined by Emma Pakstas and Eric Watters, both graduate students in Toronto Metropolitan University’s Photography Preservation and Collections Management program at the Creative School. Their work with me on the Digital Photography Project here at the Bata Shoe Museum is funded in part by the Young Canada Works in Heritage Organizations program, Government of Canada. Shooting in high resolution digital format with a Canon E0S 5D Mark IV, the photos produced during the project are publishable quality, allowing the museum to expand its reach to visitors, researchers and online ..read more
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Writing a Condition Report
A Step Into The Bata Shoe Museum
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1y ago
It’s important to have written and visual documentation on the condition of an artefact. This allows one to keep track of any changes to the materials, particularly for footwear composed of modern materials. Condition reports are written for incoming loans when other institutions and private collectors lend to upcoming exhibitions at the BSM. We also compose reports for outgoing loans to other museums that are borrowing to enhance the content of their future exhibitions. This allows the conservators at the destination to determine if any damage has occurred during shipment when comparing accom ..read more
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Travels with the BSM: Taiwan
A Step Into The Bata Shoe Museum
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1y ago
I have had the good fortune to be able to travel as a representative of the BSM to install artefacts or exhibitions in museums around the world. The first trip was to Taipei, Taiwan in June 2001. The Canadian Trade Office (CTO), based in Taipei, contacted Mrs. Bata to see if it would be possible to send a curated exhibition on the history of Western fashion footwear. The exhibition was part of a greater CTO initiative that included the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM), as well as several Canadian authors. The exhibition, Shoes in Fashion from 200 to 2000, was planned in To ..read more
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Technology and Design for Speed and Agility
A Step Into The Bata Shoe Museum
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2y ago
Canada’s champion skater Ralph McCreath in the mid-1940s wearing the newer type of boot and blade. We are celebrating the official launch of our new virtual exhibition Boots & Blades: The Story of Canadian Figure Skating at bootsandblades.ca. The exhibition is in French and in English and contains information on the development of the sport from 1600 to 2022. There are over 40 rarely seen videos and more than 350 images, artefacts and audio clips. The site is fully accessible with captioning, transcripts and more. This blog will focus on some of the research that went into two sections o ..read more
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Storage Room Project: Phase 1
A Step Into The Bata Shoe Museum
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2y ago
Right off the bat, I want to apologize for the quality of the photographs. The room in which we are working has extremely limited lighting, which results in murky images! In February, we removed all the tables that had been used for temporary storage in the future permanent storage room. The first step in retrofitting the room involved examining the two exterior walls to determine if all the surrounding city construction had compromised their impermeability. There were several vertical cracks in both walls that needed to be excised for the engineer to examine. This stage created a lot of dust ..read more
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Storing a Collection of Skates
A Step Into The Bata Shoe Museum
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2y ago
In 1995, just before the BSM opened to the public, the entire artefact collection was moved from its temporary location to its new permanent home. Previously, space was limited and the entire skate collection was stored in boxes. Now with new shelving and more space, the dilemma was how to safely store these artefacts so that they would be visible. As one can imagine, skates do not naturally stand on their own! If left to their own devices, the skates would have to lie on their sides. This would expose the blades, creating potential for scratching their neighbours and making them challenging t ..read more
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Boots & Blades: Early 20th century brand marks and models
A Step Into The Bata Shoe Museum
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2y ago
John Wilson’s “The Syers Skate” blade, named after Madge Syers, the first women’s world champion, 1908. Maker of the boots is “The Lobby Shoes” company. Collection of the Bata Shoe Museum. Image © 2022 Bata Shoe Museum. The skate research for Boots & Blades: The Story of Canadian Figure Skating took me down some fascinating ‘rabbit holes’ of interesting information and histories. In this blog, I will show the details we have found about three pair of skates. These are all from the 20th century. The first pair here are tan leather boots fitted with blades that curl up in the front. These ..read more
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Conservation for a Virtual Exhibition
A Step Into The Bata Shoe Museum
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2y ago
Last year the BSM received funding to support an online exhibition about the history of figure skating. This project was managed by the BSM's Collections Manager Suzanne Petersen. In the late spring of 2021 she went through all the skates in the BSM collection to determine which ones would best tell the story. Once her selections were finalized, I examined the skates to see which ones required treatment in preparation for photography. Out of 53 pairs of skates 14 pairs needed conservation. Once COVID restrictions were eased, I was able to work full time at the museum. I had two months to compl ..read more
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