Solo exhibition René van den Berg shoes

René’s first solo shoe exhibition ‘A Beleza sob a Pele/Beauty beneath the skin’, consisting over 50 shoes and sculptures, will be on show at the A Calçado Museu do Calçado S. João da Madeira in Portugal. The exhibition runs from May 21 until September 25 2022 and René will be present for a guided tour on Friday May 20th and at the opening on Saturday May 21th.

The Shoe Museum at S. João da Madeira, a town where development is founded on a traditional know-how. Here, experienced hands of the trade and the creativity of new designers are in dialogue. The history of the shoe is told throughout time. Stories are discovered: of lives dedicated to shoes and shoes that made an impression on lives they came across.
The Shoe Museum appears in an innovating way in the national museum scene, portraying the memory of the shoe industry in S. João da Madeira and the reality of shoe design in Portugal in the 20th century, while indicating paths at the cutting edge of technology and creativity of the 21st century.
This is an option dictated by the historical significance of S. João da Madeira within shoe production at a national level, as well as by the physical and symbolic framework of the Museum in a wider policy which is based on culture and creativity as local development factors. More than a mere artefact exhibition, the Shoe Museum is a space of learning, creativity and experimentation, which will demand permanent questioning and an interactive posture from its visitor.

René van den Berg: A Beleza sob a Pele /The beauty beneath the skin
Specializing in designing and manufacturing tailor-made shoes for the creative industry and private individuals, René van den Berg carries on a family tradition of shoemaking which dates back to 1902. Building on his thorough background as orthopedic shoe technician, René set up his workshop for tailor-made shoes in 1992. It is here where he combines his creativity and designer skills with extensive knowledge on feet, materials and shoemaking techniques to create the shoes you need.

Among others René has collaborated with Walter van Beirendonck, Thierry Mugler, JANTAMINIAU, Ilja Visser, Chris Donovan, Klavers van Engelen, Anouk Wipprecht, Heineken, Leanie van der Vyver and Joop van den Ende Theaterproducties. In addition René worked as a teacher in traditional shoemaking at the Dutch Shoe Academy, centre of excellence for craftsmanship. Since 2021 René runs his private shoe school the Rene van den Berg Academy in Hoofddorp, The Netherlands.

Liza Snook: ‘At the launch of my website in 2004 when I was in search of interesting shoes I met René van den Berg. He invited to his packed (then small) studio and I was immediately impressed with his many ideas and his craftsmanship. René’s shoe creations are always special, unbelievable crafted and I don’t think there is a design that he couldn’t realize. Having a background in orthopedic shoe making is of course a big advantage. René controls every element of a shoe, from handling delicate and precious pieces of fabric to extreme moulded or casted heels, no limits in his use of materials. René’s skills are not only show in his own work, but he helped many renowned designers realizing their ideas, hence his nickname as ‘The best kept secret in shoe business’.’

A Beleza sob a Pele/Beauty beneath the skin
May 21 until September 25 2022

Guided tour with René van den Berg
20 May | 14h00

Museu do Calçado
Rua Oliveira Júnior, nº 591
3700-204 S. João da Madeira

Museu do Calçado
Tuesday to sundays and holidays: 10 am – 12h30 pm | 2 pm – 5h30 pm.
Closed on mondays.

See more René van den Berg‘s shoes at the Virtual Shoe Museum. Portrait by Charlotte Visser.