Smithsonian Reaches $300K Goal to Rehab Ruby Slippers from Wizard of Oz

News   Smithsonian Reaches $300K Goal to Rehab Ruby Slippers from Wizard of Oz See what they have added as their “stretch goal.”
Dorothy's Ruby Slippers
Dorothy's Ruby Slippers

The Smithsonian Institution’s Kickstarter campaign to rehabilitate a pair of the original and iconic Ruby Slippers worn by Judy Garland in the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz has reached its $300,000 goal in just seven days.

In an email to donors, The Smithsonian announced that it is adding a “stretch goal” to raise $85,000 to “conserve and display another beloved icon of American film history: Scarecrow’s costume, worn by stage and screen actor Ray Bolger in The Wizard of Oz.” Click here to donate.

Ray Bolger in <i>The Wizard of Oz</i>
Ray Bolger in The Wizard of Oz © 1939 Warner Home Video

The magical red-sequined slippers, which whisked Dorothy back to Kansas with three heel taps and the words ”There's no place like home,” will have their sequins reset and “a new, state-of-the-art display case, in order to slow their deterioration and protect them from environmental harm,” according to the Kickstarter page.

Though several pairs reportedly were made for the film, the Smithsonian asserts that these are the pair “worn by Judy Garland as she danced up the yellow brick road.”

The page answers questions about why a publicly funded entity like the Smithsonian is seeking additional money from the public. ”Federal appropriations provide the foundation of the Smithsonian's operating budget and support core functions, such as building operations and maintenance, and safeguarding the collections. Federal appropriations are insufficient to fund projects like the Ruby Slippers....”

To sweeten the pot, the Smithsonian enlisted Tony Award-winning costume designer William Ivey Long to supply gifts for more generous donors. Those who donated $10 or more will get a poster Long designed for the campaign; $25 or more will get a decal he designed; $50 or more will get a tote bag. The top donation, $10,000, will get donors into the room while the museum’s restoration experts are repairing the shoes.


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