The Smithsonian is clicking its heels three times and wishing for $300,000.
Almost 80 years after Judy Garland donned those ruby slippers in The Wizard of Oz, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History has launched a new Kickstarter campaign to help restore and preserve the iconic shoes. For years, Dorothy’s slippers have been on display at the museum in Washington, D.C., and in the decades since The Wizard of Oz hit theaters in 1939, the sequins have started to break and the bright red color has started to fade.
Although the Smithsonian is federally funded, the museum says on its Kickstarter page that restoration projects like the slippers aren’t covered by federal appropriations, which is why it’s turning to the public to help raise $300,000. That money will go to further research on how to best preserve the shoes and a special climate-controlled display case.
Originally created by the MGM Studios prop department, the slippers are now one of the most iconic movie props in film history. Broadway costume designer William Ivey Long created several of the campaign’s backer rewards, including posters, decals, T-shirts, and more. Previously, the Smithsonian used Kickstarter to raise money to help conserve Neil Armstrong’s spacesuit.
So far, the initiative has raised $13,500 from more than 60 backers. Head to Kickstarter to learn more about the campaign.