International exhibition of archaeological footwear “200 shoes – 700 years”

International exhibition of archaeological footwear “200 shoes – 700 years”


“200 shoes – 700 years” is an international exhibition of archaeological footwear, prepared by the National Museum of Lithuania in cooperation with the Archaeological Museum in Gdańsk (Poland). It showcases the development and variety of leather footwear from the 12th to the 18th century through more than 200 unique archaeological finds – a collection of footwear once worn by the residents of Gdansk, Vilnius, Kaunas, Klaipėda and Kernavė.

The exhibition also presents the footwear of ordinary citizens and the social elite, rarely found children’s footwear, the changes of its construction and the features of its wear. Authentic tools and reconstructions reveal the everyday life of the old shoemaking craft. The timeline of the history of footwear helps to show the changes of design and production technologies in the course of several centuries. The fashions of footwear, like those of clothes, were very dynamic, and their tendencies would reach our region from different, sometimes very distant European countries. Time changed the main function of footwear – protecting the feet from cold and humidity – that gave way to a more elegant look meant to show the wearer’s social status.

The core of the exhibition consists of the most valuable finds of archaeological footwear restored during the last twenty years from the Archaeological Museum in Gdańsk and the National Museum of Lithuania, which are supplemented by the exhibits from the National Museum – Palace of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania, the History Museum of Lithuania Minor and the Museum of Kernavė Archaeological Site. The larger part of these exhibits has been conserved and restored specially for this exhibition and is presented to society for the first time.

Exhibition “200 shoes – 700 years” is open from 16 October 2019 to 7 June 2020 at Bastion of Vilnius Defensive Wall, Bokšto Str. 20, Vilnius.

Exhibition organizers: Archaeological Museum in Gdańsk and National Museum of Lithuania

Exhibition curators: Skaistė Ardavičiūtė-Ramanauskienė, Beata Ceynowa, Valdas Steponaitis, Ewa Trawicka

Exhibition designer Eimantas Ludavičius

Exhibition consultant Dr Arūnas Puškorius

Exhibition sponsors and partners: History Museum of Lithuania Minor, Museum of the Kernavė Archaeological Site, National Museum – Palace of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania, Lithuanian Council of Culture, Vilnius city municipality, Media Traffic, Salamander, Caffeine

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