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A Private Collection of Shoes

with Melissa Leventon

Saturday, June 24 at 1 PM

Private home in the Cole Valley neighborhood, San Francisco

Admission: $30 TAC members, $35 General Public

Melissa Leventon has been collecting shoes since 1983, when she purchased a pair of 1920s silver lamé double-strap evening shoes in a Manchester thrift shop. For years, that was the only pair of vintage shoes she owned. Then, she had to re-accessorize FAMSF's New Look to Now exhibition partway through its tour.  After four months of intensive shopping for vintage shoes she found she was hooked!  Some 300 pairs and 30 years later, her collection of women's shoes now includes a single 18th -century shoe and a handful of 19th -century shoes, but it is dominated by examples from the 20th and 21st centuries. 

The collection includes examples by major names in shoe design, including André Perugia, Roger Vivier, Beth Levine, Salvatore Ferragamo, Manolo Blahnik, and Christian Louboutin, as well as wearable art shoes by Gaza Bowen and Jude Werthein.  You'll see some of the collection on display in Melissa's home and she will get some of her favorites out of storage to share with attendees. Weather permitting, light refreshments will be available outside on the deck and in the garden.

The event is limited to 15 attendees. Most will need to stand, with a few seats in the patio and dining room areas where shoes will be exhibited.


Street (can be difficult)

Kezar public parking lot, Stanyan and Frederick (4 blocks away)


N-Judah (Carl and Cole stop)

#43 bus (Carl and Cole stop)

#71 bus (Haight and Cole, 3 blocks away)

#6 bus (Clayton and Carl, 1/3 block away)

Melissa Leventon was previously the Curator-in-Charge of Textiles at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, and is a specialist in European and American fashion and textiles. She has organized exhibitions on topics ranging from French couture to contemporary glass, Wearable Art to the Dead Sea Scrolls. Now a museum consultant and appraiser, Melissa has worked with museums such as the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Denver Art Museum, The Textile Museum, the Chicago History Museum, and the Queen Sirikit Museum of Textiles in Bangkok, and has written or co-authored six books and a number of catalogue essays. In addition, Melissa teaches fashion history and theory at California College of the Arts in San Francisco and is Chair of the Board of Trustees of the San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles.

Image Credit:

All images courtesy of Melissa Leventon.


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