Shoes and Their Secret Stories
Join the Newport Historical Society for a lecture with 18th century fashion scholar Dr. Kimberly Alexander at the Newport Historical Resource Center, 82 Touro Street, Newport, RI on Thursday, May 23, 2019 at 6:00pm.
Forgotten in cupboards, pushed into the back of drawers, secreted away behind walls and chimneybreasts, footwear frequently connotes a sense of the mystery of history. Often small, and disarmingly pretty, silk shoes made during the 18th century are often last-minute additions to a curatorial vignette or quickly cataloged in a data entry project. And yet, the stories captured by shoes are often our only connection to a woman whose life has been largely lost in the historical record, or to an unknown but highly skilled cordwainer who supplied shoes for his community. Shoes reveal important aspects of burgeoning 18th century American identity --self-fashioning, consumption, politics, and agency. Join Dr. Kimberly Alexander for a discussion of her recently published Treasures Afoot: Shoe Stories from the Georgian Era. [Johns Hopkins Press, 2018]
Dr. Kimberly Alexander teaches in the History Department of the University of New Hampshire. She has held curatorial positions at several New England Museums, including the MIT Museum, the Peabody Essex Museum and Strawbery Banke. Her most recent book, entitled Treasures Afoot: Shoe Stories from the Georgian Era, traces the history of early Anglo-American footwear from the 1740s through the 1790s. Dr. Alexander was the Andrew Oliver Research Fellow at the Massachusetts Historical Society (2016-2017). She is currently Guest Curator of “Fashioning the New England Family,” on view at the Society through early April 2019, and author of the companion volume by the same name.