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)
  • temmy-dav
    11/04/2016 - 06:35 a.m.

    In response to this article, I agree that it is very cool that the people are trying to save the slippers. One reason I agree is that the "Wizard of Oz" a really good movie and is part of my child hood. Another reason is that the people used the slippers for charity. A third reason the people donated a lot of money to preserve the slippers. I think they should try to keep one prop from every movie.

  • bor-moo
    11/17/2016 - 02:21 p.m.

    Because there were different movies at different times in history and they did not probley want to use the same pair in 2 different movies

  • noahf-bru
    1/06/2017 - 03:14 p.m.

    According to the article,"Smithsonian Saves Dorothy's ruby slippers," there were four pairs of slippers made. Based on the text, four pairs were made because they were not built to last. In conclusion there were four pairs so people could put them in museums.

  • ialexis-dav
    1/20/2017 - 06:09 a.m.


    In response to "Smithsonian saves Dorothy's ruby slippers," I agree that they should preserve the ruby slippers. One reason I agree is that the famous actress Judy Garland played the part of Dorothy when she was only 16 years old. Another reason is that it allows us to preserve something in her memory. It says in the article "The slippers are among four pairs made for the 1939 movie that are known to exist",(which means if the other three pairs are found, then they as well could be donated to the museum). A third reason is that the Scarecrow's costume would be displayed as well. This means that The National Museum of American History is trying to preserve more than just the shows form the 1939 film, even though it first debuted on TV in 1956. Even though preserving a pair of shows might sound odd, I think that it is one good why to keep something from the past alive.

  • amirahd-
    2/13/2017 - 01:11 p.m.

    I thing its cool that the Smithsonian has the shoes that was in a great movie

  • jasmineb1-bur
    3/20/2017 - 12:56 p.m.

    I believe that they made four pairs of slippers so that they would look brand new every time they were on camera. She did dance in the shoes so they made four to maintain their shine and luster on camera. i was surprised that they made four pair I thought they would only make two.

  • bolivia-dav
    3/30/2017 - 09:00 p.m.

    In response to "Smithsonian saves Dorothy's ruby slippers," I agree that the shoes should be preserved. One reason I agree is that the shoes are from a very old, famous, and classic movie. Another reason is that the museum is going to put the scarecrow costume on display too and it would be neat to have more costumes from the movie on display. It says in the article that "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." This means that someone who played a role in the famous movie died and it would be a great thing to display to honor his role. A third reason is that there are four pairs of the red slippers and one belongs to the museum. However one pair was stolen and is missing and the other two were not mentioned in the article. Even though this is an old movie and lots of money is being spent on this, I think the museum should preserve the slippers from the movie.

Take the Quiz Leave a comment
ADVERTISEMENT