WASHINGTON, D.C. (WJZ) — It was 1938 when Dorothy stole the hearts of America in the classic film “The Wizard of Oz.”
There were several pairs of red shoes used during filming of “The Wizard of Oz,” including the pair which have been on continuous display at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History since the 1980s.
Almost 80 years after Dorothy, Tin Man, Scare Crow and the Cowardly Lion, first appeared on the big screen, “The Wizard of Oz” is still one of the most iconic films in history.
These ruby slippers donned by Judy Garland in Emerald City are a crowd favorite at the National Museum of American History.
“How you fantasized about going down that yellow brick road, and seeing the lions,
Tigers, oh my!” said museum visitor Michelle Morse.
Skipping down the yellow brick road caused wear and tear, and now, the aging-iconic shoes, are need of care.
The museum launching it’s new “Keep Them Ruby,” Kickstarter campaign to raise $300,000 dollars in public donations to help conserve their magic.
“We get to really reach out to people and say you can take ownership of these too.
They’re America’s ruby slippers,” said Ryan Lintelman, museum entertainment curator.
Preservation manager, Richard Barden, will examine every sequin and stitch.
“There’s cracking. There’s discoloration,” he said of the slippers.
“There are at least 12 different materials in the ruby slippers, from cotton to steel, so we have to look at each of those materials,” said Barden.
The slippers will not be altered in any way.
“We’re really freezing them in time right now. So we don’t alter the future but preserve the present,” said Dawn Wallace, Objects Conservator with the National Museum of American History.
“It was magic and it killed the witch,” said one young museum visitor.
Finding the best way to preserve them for future generations, like a visiting kindergarten class of munchkins.
“There’s no place like home. There’s no place like home. There’s no place like home.”
The Kickstarter campaign will run through November 16, 2016. Next year the ruby slippers will be taken off display for their conservation.
Once the shoes are ready and in their state of the art display-case, they will be moved to a new exhibit opening in 2018.