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. The museum will seek another $85,000 to care for and display a Scarecrow costume 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 will be part of a new pop-culture exhibit. It is scheduled to open in 2018. The entire costume would be shown temporarily but 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, 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. 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. 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.

Filed Under:  
Assigned 65 times
CRITICAL THINKING QUESTION
Why were four pairs of the slippers made?
Write your answers in the comments section below


COMMENTS (17)
  • carmenh-orv
    11/01/2016 - 12:56 p.m.

    Four pair of slippers were made so that they would always look brand new.

  • aaronb-luc
    11/01/2016 - 01:33 p.m.

    what surprised me is that they are putting in to much effort and money to preserve the slippers and scarecrow costume. It was a great movie and all, but all good things most come to an end. Plus I don't get why the slippers and scarecrow costume are so important, its like trying hard to preserve a quarter from 1995.

    • gabriella-luc
      11/01/2016 - 11:55 p.m.

      I definately agree! I think that the money should go towards more important things in the museum than trying to create a box that will "help preserve the slippers".

  • anthony1-luc
    11/01/2016 - 03:50 p.m.

    what surprised me is some one would want to steal slippers that aren't even ruby.

  • jacij-pit
    11/01/2016 - 04:00 p.m.

    That is so cool! I am glad that they are trying to save the red ruby slippers!

  • dixie-luc
    11/01/2016 - 08:23 p.m.

    It suprised me by how the Red ruby slippers were stolen.. If they are well protected how did they stolen? Was someone being doing a bad job at protecting them? Was someone who worked at Judy Garland Museum steal it?

  • janika-luc
    11/02/2016 - 10:47 a.m.

    What surprised me was how easy they made it sound when they explained that Michael Shaw's ruby slippers were stolen.

  • maggieh1-sto
    11/03/2016 - 11:26 a.m.

    they made that many because just in case something happened to one of them

  • cassidys-sto
    11/03/2016 - 11:27 a.m.

    They didnt have the right stuff to make anymore slippers

  • sayida-dav
    11/03/2016 - 07:33 p.m.

    In response to "Smithsonian saves Dorothy's ruby slippers," I agree that the ruby slippers should be preserved. One reason I agree is that the slippers were worn by a famous actress and the movie was very famous. Another reason is that is that the scarecrow's outfit will also be on display, but in 2018. It says in the article, " '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."Even though people are paying a lot of money for slippers that are worn out and not even ruby, I think that it's worth it because a very famous actress wore it, followed by starring in a very very famous movie.

Take the Quiz Leave a comment
ADVERTISEMENT