The famous Ruby Slippers that Judy Garland wore in the 1939 MGM film The Wizard of Oz are gearing up for their new role and will be removed from display on June 12 to prepare them for the National Museum’s first entertainment exploration of American History. story in “Entertainment Nation” / “Nación del espectáculo” opening December 9. Visitors will be able to follow a yellow brick road to the Ruby Slippers, which will in a special case be a “spotlight” in the new exhibition. The sequined shoes are one of the most requested Smithsonian items and have been on almost permanent display since they were donated anonymously to the museum in 1979.
the Wizard of Oz is a fantasy tale about Kansas farmer’s wife Dorothy’s journey to a magical land and was based on the 1900 novel by L. Frank Baum (1856–1919). In Technicolor history, the MGM film is a milestone due to its many color sequences set in the Land of Oz. For the film, the magic shoes changed from the silver slippers in the book to an iridescent red hue.
Designed by MGM Studios chief costume designer Gilbert Adrian, the slippers are commercially made red shoes that have been modified by having red netting attached to their highs and heels, then covered in red sequins. As with most movie costumes and props, the Ruby Slippers were made quickly and were only meant to last for the brief duration of filming. Now over 80 years old, the Ruby Slippers underwent a year-long research and conservation treatment in 2016-2017 as part of a Kickstarter campaign for #KeepThemRuby. Videos, blogs and other materials will provide digital access to the Ruby Slippers while they are out of sight in preparation for the new exhibit. “Entertainment Nation” will immerse visitors in the dramatic arc of the nation’s story told through the power and influence of theatre, television, film, music and sports. Within the Ray and Dagmar Dolby Hall of American Culture, the 7,000 square foot bilingual multimedia exhibit will feature iconic objects from the museum’s renowned collection illustrated with captivating graphics, video and stories. American Cruise Lines is the exclusive projector sponsor of Ruby Slippers in “Entertainment Nation”.
Through unparalleled collections, rigorous research, and dynamic public outreach, the National Museum of American History seeks to empower people to create a more just and compassionate future by examining, preserving, and sharing the complexity of our past. . The museum, located on Constitution Avenue NW between 12th and 14th Streets, is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (closed December 25). Admission is free and no pass is required. The doors of the museum are always open online and the Virtual Museum continues to expand its offerings, including online exhibits, materials and PK-12 educational programs.