The ruby slippers have come home, just like Dorothy and her little dog Toto.
Now we're assured everything — and I mean everything — is going to be OK as long as the ruby slippers are still around!
Dorothy’s magic slippers recently returned in splendor from refurbishment during an 18-month exile, spiffed up, assiduously repaired by a team of experts, and sparkling glittery once again, safe in the National Museum of American History in Washington where the public can always visit them for free. They're displayed in a new eye level special case among vivid murals of red poppies.
They remain one of the most asked about exhibits in the 16 Smithsonian museums in the Washington area.
Foreign born visitors must be baffled by Americans unabated reverence and affection for a pair of women’s shoes from a 1939 movie, "The Wizard of Oz," starring Judy Garland, who as Dorothy from Kansas, wore the slippers on her adventure down the yellow brick road. Their iconic status is because the shoes are a uniquely American symbol about bravery, the power of magic; about family, the love and loyalty of friends, the yearning we all keep in our heart to “go home,” and the triumph of good over evil.
The meaning of many lines from the film are part of American idiom, including: “Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain!” and “We’re not in Kansas anymore.”
The Smithsonian ruby slippers are a mismatched pair: one marked No. 1 Judy Garland and the other marked No. 6 Judy Garland. It's fun to use the museum’s list to find the mismatched indicia. Orange felt covers the bottoms to muffle Garland’s footsteps as she danced on the yellow brick road.
The ruby slippers are now joined in the exhibit by bonus items including a 56-inch prop wand used by Glinda the Good Witch, which is on loan through November 2019, and the scarecrow’s hat will be on view only until February 2019. The hat is part of a costume which included a sponge rubber mask covered in makeup so it would look like burlap. The costume was loose and stuffed with straw.
The movie is based on a 1900 book by Frank Baum (1856-1919) "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz."
The charming items are a precursor to a 2020 7,000-square-foot exhibition “Americans Love Entertainment,” which will explore “how entertainment brings people together, shapes them and provides a forum for national conversations,” according to a NMAH spokeswoman.