You don't have to be the Devil or wear Prada to appreciate the well-heeled history of m'lady's mettre les chaussures. And thanks to artist Susan Kneebone, a Ludlow resident, the fascinating history of shoes has never before been so well shod.
Ok, let's dispense with the puns and get down to the heart and sole of the matter-artist Kneebone has spent a lifetime wrapped up in art design and creative painting. Among her commercial creations is a striking big red shoe that seems to have a life of its own.
"When Susan retired with her husband Bill to Ludlow, her interest in art continued as she created paintings and did art work for local organizations," according to Ralph Pace of the Black River Art Guild, "she lost touch with some of the work she previously had been commissioned to do when working as a commercial designer in New Jersey."
Well, on a recent visit to New Jersey, Kneebone was surprised to find a logo she had created years ago was being used to broadcast a museum exhibit at the historic Morris Museum in Morristown, N.J.
"The show, entitled 'The Shoe Must Go On', tells the story of shoes through the centuries of their design and evolution. The exhibition is featured in the museum's main gallery. It includes shoes from many walks of life and worn by many historical personages," Pace said.
Pace noted that some of the shoes displayed were worn by First Lady Mary Washington, Mary Queen of Scots, Thomas Edison, and General David Petraeus. Shoes of sports figures on display include Derek Jeter, Mohammed Ali, and Yogi Berra's sneakers. The exhibit also includes the latest in women's runway designs from sexy open-toe stilettos to thigh-clinging leather boots.
The New Jersey exhibit, now underway, ends Aug. 29; information can be found at www.morrismuseum.org.
An active member of the Black River Art Guild, Kneebone's simple yet stylish graphic designs grace several local Internet websites.
On the cover: Ludlow artist Susan Kneebone and her creation, "The Big Red Shoe" in Morristown, N.J.