Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Conserving the Ruby Slippers

In the filming of MGM's The Wizard of Oz, several pairs of Ruby Slippers were created for the film. They weren't the Silver Shoes Baum described in his book, but they served the same purpose in the film: taken from the remains of the Wicked Witch of the East, Dorothy wears them throughout the story until Glinda tells her how she can use the magic power of the shoes to return home. As such, the Ruby Slippers have become an iconic image for The Wizard of Oz as many people know the film.

A screen used pair of the Ruby Slippers was anonymously donated to the Smithsonian Museum, and they became a very popular item, in fact, the Museum would have to often change the carpet under them because it wore out from people frequenting their display case so much.

However, the Smithsonian now has a problem: those shoes weren't made to last forever, and threads are beginning to break on the shoes, the sequins are losing their luster and falling off. However, the Museum's funding doesn't allow for this type of restoration work. So... Kickstarter!

Yeah, the Smithsonian has opened a Kickstarter for conserving the Ruby Slippers for future generations. They started this a couple days ago, and it's already gotten more than half the goal pledged. But even popular Kickstarter campaigns can slump behind, so if you're able to, go ahead and make a pledge to help a piece of Oz history stick around for future generations to enjoy. And there's some specially designed memorabilia being offered for perks, so if you want something nice to add to your collection, here's your chance.

Anyone interested in our historic look at Oz, I'm researching Chittenango and New York at the time of Baum's birth and childhood, so watch this space...


Sam Milazzo said...

Wasn't there something about a pair being stolen (and still missing)?

Or was that a different pair in a different place?

Jay said...

Yes, that was another pair Michael Shaw was letting the Judy Garland Museum display at they were stolen in 2005. The ones in the Smithsonian have been there since at least the late 1980s.