Sonja Bata was a passionate collector, world traveller and business leader, who dedicated her life to learning and discovery. In the late 1940s, Sonja Bata began collecting shoes from around the world and in 1979, when her private collection had outgrown its home, the Bata family established the Bata Shoe Museum Foundation. The main objective of the Foundation was to establish an international centre for footwear research which led to the opening of the Bata Shoe Museum on May 6, 1995.
For over 27 years, the Bata Shoe Museum has explored world history and culture through footwear with exhibitions and educational programs for visitors around the globe to enjoy. The collection has grown and now has close to 15,000 footwear-related artifacts that span 4,500 years of history!
2020 brought new challenges when the pandemic hit, and like many other cultural institutions, the museum had to navigate new ways of connecting to its community. By quickly pivoting to engaging online content, the museum continued to grow its worldwide audience through its #BSMFromHome content found on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter and YouTube.
“On the surface, shoes are an indication of personal taste and style but a closer examination yields a different picture”
Now that the museum has reopened, it has once again returned to its ambitious schedule of two exhibitions a year and a wide range of in-person programs, ensuring new things to see and do with every visit. The museum’s newest exhibition, Future Now: Virtual Sneakers to Cutting-Edge Kicks, features over fifty futuristic footwear designs from the auto-lacing Nike MAG to the virtual RTFKT x Staple Meta-Pigeon and considers how cutting-edge technologies, unexpected materials, and new ideas are transforming footwear today.
Moving forward, the Bata Shoe Museum will continue to create new and engaging experiences for visitors both digitally and in-person to explore the fascinating role footwear plays in social and cultural life.