With its Kickstarter campaign set to close on Wednesday (November 16th), Smithsonian Institute has successfully secured nearly $350,000 for its “Conserve Dorothy’s Ruby Slippers” project. The organization launched the initiative last month originally seeking $300,000.
The Ruby Slippers were made nearly 80 years ago for The Wizard of Oz and were only supposed to last through the production’s filming portion. Nearly half a century after their creation, the shoes were donated to the National Museum of American History, and millions of visitors have had the privilege of seeing them. The Smithsonian revealed:
“Movie costumes and props are made quickly and cheaply, to last only for the brief duration of the shoot, not forever. Now in their eighth decade, the shoes are fragile and actively deteriorating. Even to the naked eye the damage is quite obvious: the color has faded and the slippers appear dull and washed-out. The coating on the sequins that give the shoes their hallmark ruby color is flaking off its gelatin base. Some threads that hold sequins in place have broken.”
Although each of its museums is government funded, the Smithsonian stated its federal appropriations do not cover the Ruby Slipper’s conservation. It was also noted it will need to undertake all costs to conduct the extensive process, which includes calibrating light exposure, controlled humidity and temperate and other odds and ins, and will need help from its supporters. Once the process is finished, the Ruby Slippers will be placed in a new exhibition at the National Museum of American History called On With the Show in 2018.
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