Killer Heels: The Art of the High-Heeled Shoe
Posted November 2015

High heels have taken their place among other antiques and collectibles in museums. The Palm Springs Art Museum ( in Palm Springs, Calif., will feature 110+ contemporary high heels and 50 historical designs from the Brooklyn Museum and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in the exhibit, “Killer Heels: The Art of the High-Heeled Shoe,” through Dec. 13. The exhibition includes high heels by more than 50 contemporary designers, including Céline, Chanel, Christian Louboutin, Alexander McQueen, Prada, and United Nude. These shoes are presented in compelling visual dialogues with historical high heels, including exquisite 18th century court heels, tiny 19th century Chinese slippers for bound feet, and iconic 20th century heel designs by Salvatore Ferragamo, Delman, and Roger Vivier for Christian Dior. Organized thematically, Killer Heels’ emphasis is on designs that play with the sculptural, architectural, and artistic possibilities of the high heel using innovative or unexpected materials or techniques; and that push the limits of functionality, wearability, and even conventional beauty, through surprising structure, shape, or height.

In flames, a Prada Wedge Sandal in Rosso, Bianco, and Nero Leather, Spring/Summer 2012. (Prada USA Corp. All photos by Jay Zukerkorn, except Manchu Shoe.)

A Chinese Manchu Woman’s Shoe, 19th c., cotton, embroidered satin-weave silk. (Photo: Brooklyn Museum.)

Winde Rienstra, Bamboo Heels, 2012, bamboo, glue, plastic cable ties. (Photo: Winde Rienstra.)

Iris van Herpen X United Nude, Beyond Wilderness, 2013. ( Photo courtesy of United Nude, photography by Jay Zukerkorn.)

Miu Miu, Cammeo Barque leather Wedge, Fall/Winter 2006. (Photo courtesy of Prada USA Corp, photography by Jay Zukerman.)


Killer Heels: The Art of the High-Heeled Shoe is organized by the Brooklyn Museum. The Palms Springs Art Museum showing is funded in part by Kimberly and Roger Swanson. 




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