Arts Post
Posted at 02:51 PM ET, 02/23/2012

Dorothy’s ruby slippers temporarily off display at Smithsonian

Ever since 1979, tourists have been able to trek to the National Museum of American History to see those iconic heel-clickers a.k.a Dorothy’s ruby red slippers made famous in the “Wizard of Oz.”
Ruby slippers worn by Judy Garland as Dorothy in the 1939 movie “The Wizard of Oz.” (Photo courtesy of the Smithsonian Institution)

But such shoe pilgrimages will have to be put on the backburner for the next few weeks. Dorothy’s ruby slippers, one of the most asked-about artifacts in the whole Smithsonian, have been taken off display until April 5, when they move to a brand-new exhibition called “American Stories.”

But wait — that’s not the only ruby slippers news of the day. Leonardo DiCaprio and Steven Spielberg just bought a pair.

Four pairs of the shoes that were made for actress Judy Garland (Dorothy) are known to exist. Though the price wasn’t revealed, DiCaprio, Spielberg and former Warner Bros. chairman Terry Semel and others contributed the funds.

When this particular pair of shoes was offered by an auction house last year they were valued at $2 million to $3 million, though they did not sell at the time.

The Smithsonian received its pair of slippers, worn by Garland in dance scenes, from an anonymous donor in 1979.

In the shoes’ absence, the American History museum has substituted two parts of the Scarecrow costume from the same iconic movie.

“The yellow brick road is now represented by the hat and boots from the Scarecrow costume worn by Ray Bolger,” said museum spokeswoman Melinda Machado.

By  |  02:51 PM ET, 02/23/2012

Tags:  Ruby slippers, The Wizard of Oz, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian, Leonardo DiCaprio, Steven Spielberg, Judy Garland

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