Footwear Museum Jose María Amat Amer

A history book

OUR GALLERIES

Visiting our Footwear Museum is a pleasant walk through the History of Footwear, the Design and Technology used by shoemakers of old, both in Spain and in the world. The Museum is located in two floors with four galleries. In the hall downstairs, you can find a little bookshop including books related to Footwear, pendants, pins and keyrings with miniature Footwear, games, pencils, among other items, as well as a CD showing traditional techniques in the making of footwear.

The Footwear Museum is divided into four galleries:

Machinery

Library

The shoe

Contests and collections

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PLAN YOUR VISIT

Do you want to schedule a visit with us to the Footwear Museum in order to obtain the best possible experience? Fill in the following form to arrange it beforehand.

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This is all the information you need to know:

  • General admission: 3 per person.

  • Children, retirees and groups larger than 10 people: €3 per person.

  • Schools with teacher: €1 per person.

  • Guided tour in Spanish, English or French: €15 per group.

 

Timetable (The average visit lasts about one and a half hours):

  • Monday-Friday: 10.00 to 14.00 and 17.00 to 20.00

  • Saturday: 10.00 to 14.00 

Did you know...?

History of the Footwear Museum

The start of a Footwear Museum was the aim of many entities for decades. Alberto Navarro, the official chronicler for the city of Elda and founder of the weekly newspaper Valle de Elda, insisted non-stop since 1956 on the need to create a museum to preserve the essence and work of the local footwear industry.


In 1964, with the opening of the International Footwear Fair in its new fairgrounds, the Official Diary of the FICIA launched an invitation for the creation of a footwear museum, and some people even donated shoes for such purpose.

In 1967, on occasion of the VIII International Footwear Fair, these shoes were displayed on a stand under a sign reading “Footwear Museum”, but it went no further than that. The shoes were put into boxes, stored away and later destroyed in floods and a fire affecting the fairgrounds. In fact, none of those shoes made it to the current Footwear Museum.

In 1973, another unsuccessful effort to set up a museum was undertaken using the Vocational Training Centre which depended on the Vertical Syndicate from the former regime.

In 1974, on occasion of another inauguration of the International Footwear and Related Industries Fair, the “first symbolic stone” for a footwear museum was laid, and an appeal was made to the population for them to donate objects and shoes, but neither would this last effort take hold.

The handmade works and unique items related to Footwear and its Industry still in existence were in serious danger of disappearing, and with the disappearance of manual shoemakers, so could the handicraft techniques which had made the Upper, Middle and Lower Vinalopó areas shine.

Since the end of the 80s, work started with the collection and cataloguing of footwear related items. The students in the 1986-1987 Vocational Training Course, directed by the Footwear Technology teacher, José María Amat Amer, carried out the collecting and research work as a first step to arranging a museographic collection about footwear. This initiative coincided in time with the closing down of some of the oldest companies in the area, especially Calzados LUVI, S.L. in Petrer, which made it possible to recover a great number of machines, shoes and objects belonging to the beginnings of the activity in the past. Elda's departure from the Footwear Fair Contests (1959-1991) drove this initiative, as it is a reminder of the greatest history of the Footwear and Related Industries Fairs in the province of Alicante.

On January 17th 1991, a Collaboration Agreement was signed in the town hall of Elda between the Mayor – President of the Council of Elda, Mr. Roberto García Blanes, the President of the Alicante Regional Savings Bank, Mr. Francisco Rodríguez Valderrama, the Dean of the Technical Engineers Association of Alicante and the founder of the Footwear Museum in order to draw up the founding statutes for the “Private Cultural Foundation Footwear Museum”, appointing its founder as Museum Manager. This agreement was approved and signed before a public notary on January 15th 1992.

The Museum was inaugurated provisionally on December 12th 1992, with the Minister of Culture of the Valencian Region presiding over the ceremony, and was recognised as a Permanent Museum Collection by the Regional Ministry of Culture, Education and Science on March 24th 1994. Ownership and management of this museum lies with the Private Cultural Foundation Footwear Museum, which is presided over by the first local authority.

Given the importance the Footwear Museum was acquiring, the Regional Ministry of Industry decided to finance a project by the architect of that Ministry in order to create a singular building, taking up part of the abandoned premises which used to host the fairgrounds, for it to become the venue for the Footwear Museum in Elda.

On February 4th 1990, the current building and the Footwear Museum in its current venue were inaugurated. The ceremony was presided over by Her Royal Highness, The Infanta Elena, accompanied by the President of the Valencian Government and several Regional Ministers, including the one for Education and Culture and the one for Industry, as well as authorities for the province and the municipality, and representatives of all unions involved in footwear and related industries, together with representatives from local entities and associations.

Video recorded by Tele Elda on February 4th 1999 featuring the arrival in Elda of Her Royal Highness The Infanta Elena and the inauguration of the Footwear Museum.


Her Royal Highness, The Infanta Elena, walking through the machinery gallery on inauguration day on February 4th 1999.


The new building consists of a ground floor and four floors, with the Footwear Museum taking up the entrance hall and two floors with four rooms for a total of 2,500m2.

This is a Museum that is home to the whole sector, and perhaps one of the most important ones due to the variety of its contents. The Museum is organised into four sections: Documents-Archive-Art-Titles; Shoes and Models; Utensils and Tools; and Machinery. All of them related to the Footwear Industry and the Auxiliary and Components Industry since its known past. At the same time, it recovers the elaboration processes by following the traditional shoemaking techniques, it encourages any initiative which contributes to research in the sector and which can be used as teaching material for those researchers interested in it.


The Aguado family, who started the industrial making of lasts in Spain and owned the company employing the most important last makers in the country, donated an extremely complete collection of machines and utensils unique in the world. This room was named “Aguado Collection” to honour its founder, Isidro Aguado Aravid.

The activities carried out in the museum are within the objectives of the Foundation: disseminate and boost the Footwear Industry in Spain. The creation of the Luis García Berlanga Journalist Award regarding quality women's shoes; the creation of the Woman in the best shoes in Spain Award; the national contests for Handmade Footwear; the school contests Calzapinta and Calzacuenta; and the photography awards or the publication of the CalZarte magazine, in addition to an initiative to raise monuments to the Shoemaker and the Apprentice and the one to the Shoemaking Family and various temporary exhibitions, are all some of the most outstanding activities contributing to the prestige of Spanish Footwear and the Museum.

The Board of the Footwear Museum Foundation, at a meeting held on February 23rd 2015, agreed that the Footwear Museum would change its name to Footwear Museum “José María Amat Amer” to honour its founder.