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
Lexile

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. The funds would be used to conserve another relic from the beloved movie.
 
The National Museum of American History has announced that it has extended the Kickstarter campaign. It brought in $300,000 in one week to maintain the ruby slippers. Now the museum will seek another $85,000. The money would be used to care for and display a Scarecrow costume. It was worn by actor Ray Bolger. It was donated to the museum by his widow, Gwendolyn Bolger. That was in 1987.
 
If the campaign is successful, the museum will place the Scarecrow's hat alongside the slippers. They would be part of a new pop-culture exhibit. It is scheduled to open in 2018. The entire costume would be shown temporarily.  It is too delicate to go on permanent display.
 
The slippers are among four pairs made for the 1939 movie that are known to exist. They are among the most popular items in the museum's collection. They were sold at auction in 1970 and donated to the museum in 1979. They have been on near-permanent display ever since. Not built to last, the sequin-covered shoes have deteriorated from exposure to light and moisture. 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. He is Michael Shaw, a Los Angeles-based drama coach who owned another pair of slippers. His pair was stolen in 2005. The slippers went missing while on loan to the Judy Garland Museum in Grand Rapids, Minnesota. They never have 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. He also used them to raise money for charity. When not on display, they were kept in a safety-deposit box. He said 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.

Filed Under:  
Assigned 216 times
CRITICAL THINKING QUESTION
Why were four pairs of the slippers made?
Write your answers in the comments section below


COMMENTS (56)
  • irisp-ste
    10/31/2016 - 01:20 p.m.

    Four slippers were most likely made to have backups in case a pair was ruined while making the film. Often, studios will create multiples of one outfit just in case something may happen to the first costume.

    • stephenc-hyl
      11/09/2016 - 01:02 p.m.

      I think your idea is right because they can get ruined

  • samanthal-buh
    10/31/2016 - 09:03 p.m.

    I am glad that the Smithsonian museum is raising money to prepare the Scarecrow costume for display, though only the hat will be on display after they move the rest of the Scarecrow's costume. I am a great fan of the Wizard of Oz, and I did not know that there were at least 4 pairs of ruby slippers created for the movie.

    • stephenc-hyl
      11/09/2016 - 01:04 p.m.

      It is a good thing because the Scarecrow costume should be paid to go in a museum.

  • samanthas-1-ste
    11/01/2016 - 01:20 p.m.

    Four pairs were probably made because they needed extras just in case something happened to them. Also, some went to different places.

    • stephenc-hyl
      11/09/2016 - 01:00 p.m.

      I think that the four pairs were made just in case someone brakes it or steels it because lets say someone brakes it and no people have another pair and that is very bad.

    • raelal-hyl
      11/09/2016 - 01:05 p.m.

      How do you know some of the four pairs were sent to different places?

  • daltons1-ste
    11/01/2016 - 01:25 p.m.

    I think its good they are trying to preserve the slippers from the movie since it was such a big part of pop culture. I think it is a good idea to have the scarecrow costume there too because it had the same effect on history. Im glad they arent leaving it out for to long because it is so delicate.

  • jennyc1-stu
    11/01/2016 - 01:48 p.m.

    These pair of heels for 1939 must be VERY 'fragile', but this might attract more people into coming into the museum.

  • bradleyg-stu
    11/01/2016 - 03:04 p.m.

    In My Opinion, The Smithsonian Is Generous For Saving The Slippers.

Take the Quiz Leave a comment
ADVERTISEMENT