Smithsonian saves Dorothy's ruby slippers In this April 11, 2012, file photo, Dorothy's Ruby Slippers, from the "Wizard of Oz" are on display as part of a new exhibit, "American Stories," at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin/Reed Saxon, File)
Smithsonian saves Dorothy's ruby slippers
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Now that the Smithsonian has reached its crowd-funding goal to preserve the ruby slippers from "The Wizard of Oz," the museum in Washington is asking for more money to conserve another relic from the beloved movie.
 
The National Museum of American History has announced that it has extended the Kickstarter campaign that brought in $300,000 in one week to maintain the ruby slippers. The museum will seek another $85,000 to care for and display a Scarecrow costume worn by actor Ray Bolger and donated to the museum by his widow, Gwendolyn Bolger, in 1987.
 
If the campaign is successful, the museum will place the Scarecrow's hat alongside the slippers in a new pop-culture exhibit that's scheduled to open in 2018. The entire costume would be shown temporarily but is too delicate to go on permanent display.
 
The slippers, one of four pairs made for the 1939 movie that are known to exist, are among the most popular items in the museum's collection. They were sold at auction in 1970, donated to the museum in 1979 and have been on near-permanent display ever since. Not built to last, the sequin-covered shoes have deteriorated from exposure to light and moisture, and most of the $300,000 will go toward scientific research on how best to construct a new display case that will better protect them.
 
The efforts involving the Scarecrow costume will be similar: Museum staff will assess what needs to be done to preserve and treat the costume and prepare it for display.
 
News of the efforts to preserve the slippers and costume was bittersweet to at least one super-fan of the movie: Michael Shaw, a Los Angeles-based drama coach who owned another pair of slippers. His pair was stolen in 2005 while on loan to the Judy Garland Museum in Grand Rapids, Minnesota, and has never been found.
 
"Every time I hear anything about the ruby slippers, I get nauseous because I keep thinking about mine," Shaw, 80, told The Associated Press by phone.
 
Shaw used to take his slippers around the country and display them, and he also used them to raise money for charity. When not on display, they were kept in a safety-deposit box, and he believes they were in better shape than the Smithsonian's pair. Shaw's trove of movie memorabilia also includes a hat and trench coat worn by Humphrey Bogart in "Casablanca."
 
"I'm very happy that the Smithsonian is going to be doing this preservation, because that was my goal for years - to save, preserve and to put a lot of these things on display," Shaw said.

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CRITICAL THINKING QUESTION
Why were four pairs of the slippers made?
Write your answers in the comments section below


COMMENTS (12)
  • kaileew-ste
    11/01/2016 - 02:08 p.m.

    In 2018, a pop-culture exhibit is supposed to open including the ruby slippers and the scarecrows hat from "The Wizard of Oz." The hat was donated to the Smithsonian by the actor's widow. The slippers they now have are one of four pairs.

  • strawberry-luc
    11/01/2016 - 03:48 p.m.

    It surprised me that the man, Michael Shaw, collected the different things. I don't think it mentioned his connection to any movie.

  • strawberry-luc
    11/01/2016 - 03:51 p.m.

    I was surprised about the fact that the guy, Michael Shaw, had the movie relics.

  • hannahh3-man
    11/03/2016 - 11:07 a.m.

    They most likely wore out quite a bit on the set, and plus there was a chance of them being stolen from the set so they needed extras.

  • monicas-ste
    11/03/2016 - 01:24 p.m.

    Those shoes are so famous. I always wanted a pair when I was little. I loved the Wizard of Oz.

  • annad-man
    11/03/2016 - 02:44 p.m.

    They made 4 pairs of slippers because they wanted backups.

  • jessicac-man
    11/03/2016 - 02:44 p.m.

    The reason they made four pairs is because they were back ups incase one of them were destroyed.

  • rileyw4-man
    11/03/2016 - 02:55 p.m.

    I thought this story was ok. I really don't care about her slippers.

  • metau-cel
    11/07/2016 - 09:56 a.m.

    Four pairs of slippers may have been made so that when 1 pair were worn down during the filming of the movie another pair could have been worn, or if one pair was missing there were 3 others to back it up. Also, after the movie got so famous if you had 3 extra pairs you could sell them off for high prices to make more income for the movie, or for charity.

  • noahr-ste
    11/11/2016 - 12:57 p.m.

    They most likely would wear more than one pair on the set, and plus there was a chance of them being stolen from the set so they needed extras

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