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Rest Your Feet Brings Together Legendary Shoe and Chair Designers in One-of-a-Kind Exhibition

September 17, 2008

Shoes, shoes and more shoes along with chairs will be celebrated during an exhibition to be held at Drexel University’s Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design in November. Featuring shoes from designers Roger Vivier, Salvatore Ferragamo, Prada, Azzedine Alaia, Christian Lacroix and Herbert Levine, the “Rest Your Feet” exhibition will examine the history, evolution and role of shoes and chairs.

Along with the gravity-defying high fashion 40 pairs of shoes, the exhibition will feature 10 chairs including Harry Bertoia’s 1952 asymmetrical chaise lounge from Knoll International; and Bill Stumpf and Don Chadwick’s 1994 Aeron chair from Herman Miller. Included will be items from the Drexel Historic Costume Collection, The Drexel CollectionSM the Costume and Textiles Collection of the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Shoe Museum of the Temple School of Podiatry.

Westphal faculty who put the exhibition together believe it will demonstrate some of the most influential and historical work in the genre.

A series of lectures will be held throughout the exhibition that will explore the importance of the work of shoes beyond function, preference and personal expression. Linda O’Keeffe, creative director of Metropolitan Home and author of Shoes, a Celebration of Pumps, Sandals, Slippers and More, will open the series on November 5 at 6 p.m. in Nesbitt Hall (33rd and Market Streets).

Valerie Steele, director and chief curator of the museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT), will give a lecture on November 18 at 6 p.m. in Nesbitt Hall. Steele has curated more than 20 exhibitions in the last 10 years including London Fashion, which won the first Richard Martin Award for best costume exhibition from The Costume Society of America. She is the author of more than a dozen books and serves as editor-in-chief of Fashion Theory (a peer reviewed journal that provides an interdisciplinary forum to analyze cultural phenomena). She also served as editor-in-chief of the three-volume Encyclopedia of Clothing and Fashion.

“Rest Your Feet” opens at the Leonard Pearlstein Gallery on November 3, with an opening reception on November 5, from 5 to 7:30 p.m. The Pearlstein Gallery is located on the first floor of Nesbitt Hall (32nd and Market Streets). A concurrent exhibition, featuring chairs from the 17th-19th century from The Drexel CollectionSM and shoes from the Drexel Historic Costume Collection, will be on view in Drexel’s Rincliffe Gallery, Main Building, 3rd Floor (32nd and Chestnut Streets), Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.

“Rest Your Feet” will be accompanied by a peer-reviewed catalog compiled as a journal publication by Westphal College’s Departments of Fashion and Design & Merchandising and Architecture & Interiors. The catalog is being written by the curators and invited contributors, including faculty, alumni and graduate students with production and graphic design provided by the College’s Media Arts Department

The exhibition has been organized by faculty from two Westphal College departments, Fashion and Design & Merchandising and Architecture & Interiors. The exhibition, the reception and all speaker series events are free and open to the public. For more information, call 215-895-1029 or visit

About Westphal College: The Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design offers 12 undergraduate and five graduate programs in design, media and the performing arts. Students enrolled in the nationally recognized fashion design program conclude their education by presenting work at the annual Drexel Fashion Show, an impressive event that attracts an audience of 1,500. The College’s design & merchandising program prepares students for the businesses of design. Each year students create the D&M magazine that rivals professionally produced publications. Through the College’s interior design program, students are prepared for leadership positions through a multi-disciplinary learning environment. Both the undergraduate interior design program and the graduate interior architecture & design program were top-ranked on a national basis by DesignIntelligence.


News Media Contacts: Zeek Weil, Director of Communications and Events, Westphal College 215-895-2629 or

Niki Gianakaris, Assistant Director, Drexel News Bureau 215-895-6741, 215-778-7752 (cell) or

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