You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to myPalmBeachPost.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and bonus content- exclusively for subscribers. Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks

X

Welcome to myPalmBeachPost.com

This subscriber-only site gives you exclusive access to breaking news, in-depth coverage, exclusive interactives and bonus content.

You can read free articles of your choice a month that are only available on myPalmBeachPost.com.

breaking news

Florida lawmakers move closer to gambling deal

No-brainer: $300K campaign to rescue Dorothy’s ruby slippers


WASHINGTON (AP) — It will take more than three clicks of the heels to restore the ruby slippers that whisked Dorothy back to Kansas at the end of “The Wizard of Oz.”

The slippers, which for more than 30 years have been one of the most beloved items at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History, were crafted almost 80 years ago by the MGM Studios prop department. Like most movie props, they weren’t built to last. Now, the frayed shoes aren’t even ruby-colored anymore — they’re more like a dull auburn.

On Monday, the Smithsonian asked the public to help save the slippers, launching a Kickstarter campaign to raise $300,000. In addition to restoring the shoes’ color, the money will go toward a technologically advanced display case that will preserve them for future generations.

The Smithsonian’s museums are federally funded, but the institution frequently solicits private and corporate contributions for major projects that its budget doesn’t cover. This is the Smithsonian’s second Kickstarter campaign. In 2015, the National Air and Space Museum raised $700,000 through the crowd-funding site to preserve the spacesuit that Neil Armstrong wore when he walked on the moon.

“This particular pair of ruby slippers really belongs to the American people, and so we thought as we sought support that we would invite the public to join us on this journey to help preserve them for the next generation,” said Melinda Machado, a museum spokeswoman.

The shoes are the most recognizable prop for the beloved 1939 musical, their deep red hue dazzling audiences when the movie made its dramatic transition from black-and-white to Technicolor. They have been on near-constant display since they were anonymously donated to the museum in 1979.

Preserving them is more complicated than it might appear, Machado said. The slippers contain a dozen different materials. The gelatin-based sequins are a relic from the infancy of plastic. They also include glass beads and red felt on the soles that was used to muffle their sound when Judy Garland wore them during dance sequences.

“We’re going to have to do a lot of scientific research to come up with a treatment plan that is compatible with all of the different materials,” Machado said.

As of Tuesday morning, donors had pledged more than $38,000 on Kickstarter. If the museum does not reach its $300,000 goal in 30 days, no one will be charged. Donations start at $1 and, depending how much they give, contributors can receive rewards including T-shirts and tote bags created by William Ivey Long, a Tony award-winning costume designer.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Travel

A road trip along Ireland's breathtaking west coast
A road trip along Ireland's breathtaking west coast

Ireland, we decided: the west coast of Ireland. Offseason, when accommodations would be inexpensive. That's how our party of three childhood friends found ourselves tooling along the Dingle Peninsula's breathtaking Slea Head Drive on a (mostly) sunny day in February as the occasional squall came and went.  Our 10-day adventure was minimally planned...
How to avoid paying for a checked bag

Airfare is expensive enough as it is, but the added fees make things worse.  Some of the discount airlines (think: Spirit, WOW Air and Allegiant) charge for everything from seat selection to printing your boarding pass. Some airlines even charge for carry-on luggage any bigger than a purse or small backpack. But if there’s one thing airlines...
The marital benefits of a canceled flight
The marital benefits of a canceled flight

My husband had been on hold with the Delta agent for about 10 minutes when he began to visibly implode. His ears went from pink to an almost bioluminescent red; the veins in his neck seemed to pulse in time with the sheets of rain beating down on the terrace. “I know there’s a nor’easter,” Jeff said, pacing the taupe carpet...
This new mega cruise ship will have a Ferrari-branded racetrack
This new mega cruise ship will have a Ferrari-branded racetrack

Cruise passengers looking for a real ocean drive will have to look further than South Beach.  Norwegian Cruise Line’s new Norwegian Joy, a ship the Doral, Fla.-based cruise line is building to sail in China, will be the first ever to feature a racetrack — from Ferrari, no less.   That’s in partnership with Scuderia...
Now on sale: multiresort passes for next ski season
Now on sale: multiresort passes for next ski season

Blooming trees may not be conducive to ski thoughts, but spring is a great time to plan next season on the slopes because multiresort passes go on sale at this time.  Multimountain passes give access (often unlimited) to several locations, and in recent years they have upended not just the way the ski industry sells lift tickets, but also how...
More Stories