Smithsonian turns to Kickstarter to preserve Dorothy’s ruby slippers

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There’s no place like home – and for the iconic pair of ruby slippers from The Wizard of Oz, that’s the Smithsonian, which has just launched a crowdfunding campaign to help preserve the shoes into the future.

The museum has just launched a campaign on Kickstarter to help prevent the sequined slippers from deteriorating, and is looking for $300,000 (£243,560) to do so.


The shoes were worn by Judy Garland in 1939’s The Wizard of Oz, and are beginning to show their age according to the Kickstarter: “The colour has faded and the slippers appear dull and washed-out.

“The coating on the sequins that give the shoes their hallmark ruby colour is flaking off its gelatin base. Some threads that hold sequins in place have broken.”

The museum hopes to raise funds to first study the slippers and identify the perfect conditions to conserve them in.

Then they’ll undergo a conservation treatment to clean and stabilize them, before being in their new, carefully designed display case.

They’ll then hopefully move into a new exhibition titled On With the Show from 2018, where they’ll be joined by the likes of R2-D2, Muhammad Ali’s training robe, and Jim Henson’s original Muppets.

This isn’t the first time the Smithsonian has turned to the public to support its conservation work. Last year it raised $719,779 to preserve Neil Armstrong’s spacesuit.

Head to Kickstarter to back the campaign and #KeepThemRuby – if you donate $7,000 you can even get your own custom replica pair.

Liverpool’s gay scene was given a Wizard of Oz-themed makeover earlier this year when Eberle Street – home to gay bar Garlands – was converted into its own ‘Yellow Brick Road’.