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A community of backers around the world came together to help the Smithsonian conserve and display the Ruby Slippers and Scarecrow costume.
A community of backers around the world came together to help the Smithsonian conserve and display the Ruby Slippers and Scarecrow costume.
6,451 backers pledged $349,026 to help bring this project to life.

If We Only Had a... Stretch Goal!

Posted by Smithsonian Institution (Creator)

Hi, #KeepThemRuby team!

We're still so excited and grateful that you helped us meet our $300,000 goal in just seven days! Thank you for the overwhelming support you’ve shown to this project, the Ruby Slippers, and the Smithsonian National Museum of American History. We love all your comments about why you backed this project, and about what The Wizard of Oz and the Smithsonian mean to you. Please keep sharing your stories!

Though we've reached the Emerald City, the Wizard told us we had another task before we could click our heels to go home again. We gave you a hint that it had to do with one of Dorothy's friends, and saw some great guesses as to who it might be.

We're so excited to announce that our stretch goal is to conserve and display another beloved icon of American film history: Scarecrow’s costume, worn by actor Ray Bolger in The Wizard of Oz


At the end of The Wizard of Oz, Dorothy says to Scarecrow, “I think I’ll miss you most of all.” Now she doesn’t have to! You can help us reunite Scarecrow’s costume and the Ruby Slippers by helping is reach our stretch goal.

The Scarecrow's costume was constructed nearly eighty years ago, and donated to the Smithsonian in 1987 by Ray's wife, Gwendolyn, after his passing. The donation even included extra straw used during production of the film! The costume is fragile, sensitive to light, and needs research to determine how best to preserve it. Now, you can help us do the conservation necessary to put the full costume worn by Ray Bolger on display for a limited time as part of the Museum's new culture exhibition, tentatively titled On with the Show, in 2018, and to add the Scarecrow’s hat for long-term display alongside the Ruby Slippers!

As a “thank you” for increasing your pledge, or for new backers to our project, we’ve added some exciting new rewards, including unlocking two more pairs of replica Ruby Slippers, a chance to engage with noted Wizard of Oz historian John Fricke both in person and online, an opportunity for you and your family and to preview the newly restored Ruby Slippers and Scarecrow, and a bundle of the exclusive William Ivey Long rewards – including a package of two signed and “hand glitterized” posters!

We hope we can count on you to bring your magic to the Scarecrow like you did with the Ruby Slippers by helping us conserve this lovable character’s costume for future generations! Please share our exciting #KeepThemRuby stretch goal news with friends and family! We think it's a #NoBrainer. Thank you!



What will be involved in the conservation of the Scarecrow costume?

The Scarecrow will need a full conservation assessment to determine which materials were used to construct the costume. This will include working with scientists to identify the materials and conducting historical research. We will take a close look at the textiles and dyes that are extremely sensitive to light and wear. We need to understand what condition they are in to determine what treatment will best conserve and preserve them. Once those issues are addressed, we can decide how best to display the costume. The Scarecrow costume will need an internal structure to support the textiles and reduce stress so that he will remain in good condition far into the future.

Jenny B, Rosemary Rodgers, and 50 more people like this update.


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    1. Missing avatar

      Kath Rondinone on

      Our donation is in honor of our friend Rebecca Ehrenfried, who loves the Wizard of Oz so much, she wore her own ruby slippers on her wedding day. Kerry and Kath wish her a happy birthday and a Merry Christmas!

    2. Smithsonian Institution 3-time creator on

      @Sherry Brackeen Thanks so much for sharing your wonderful story! Amazing to have first seen The Wizard of Oz on a black-and-white television! We continue to be astonished at how the movie has touched so many people's lives. We're honored that you're part of #KeepThemRuby, @Chuck Gollnick So happy you helped us #RebootTheSuit and #KeepThemRuby! Thanks for your encouraging words. @Belle We can't wait to send you your Toto-ly awesome tote bag! Thanks for your supportive words and for backing #KeepThemRuby.

    3. Smithsonian Institution 3-time creator on

      @Miriam Imerman @Douglas Smith @Karen Thorne Thanks so much for backing #KeepThemRuby! We're extremely grateful to everyone who's shown their overwhelming support--what we thought would take a month to accomplish took only one week, thanks to you. We've seen such an outpouring of love for The Wizard of Oz and the desire to be a part of this project, that we wanted to make sure everyone knows that any support above and beyond our project goal is still going to preserving objects from this beloved movie for all to enjoy.

    4. Amy (Other Amy)

      Those who are annoyed with the stretch goal being a new conservation project, remember that if the original pledge goal is not met, the Kickstarter does not fund. If the Smithsonian needed, say, $1.5 million to restore all the items they have in connection with the Wizard of Oz, and set that as their initial goal, but only collected the $300,000 they needed for the slippers, they would not get any of that money. By setting the $300,000 as their first goal, then adding to it, they made the project achievable. Now they have the opportunity to aim for more. Additionally, stretch goals on any Kickstarter are not really a request for people who already backed to give more. They are an invitation for people who haven't backed yet to contribute, because there is still more to accomplish here. This new goal is a good way to allow more people to participate, to be able to interact with a bit of Oz. I don't think I can up my current contribution right now, but I'm happy to see this stretch goal. I wish it success and I hope many more people get the joy of supporting this.

    5. Missing avatar

      Karen Thorne on

      I was thrilled to contribute to the restoration of the Ruby Slippers. I was not, however, please to receive an immediate solicitation for more money. Please let the generosity of ones gift resonate for a bit, before asking again. One wants to feel like they are contributing to something special and not a conveyor belt of causes.

    6. Missing avatar

      Chuck Gollnick

      If you give to many charities for specific causes or needs -- the earthquake in wherever or the famine in some other place, for example -- there is often a little fine-print footnote that says essentially, "if we happen to raise more money than we need for the cause-at-hand, we can keep the extra money and use it however we choose... including executive bonuses, fancy award dinners, political "contributions" to the candidates and organizations of our choice, and even fund raising to get more money." So, money you gave out of the goodness of your heart to help feed the starving little boy in the sad picture and others just like him suffering from the disaster in Nounderstan may very well get used to feed some not-so-starving congressman in DC.

      The Smithsonian is being refreshingly honest and open about what they will do with the funds raised herein.

      If you pledged prior to the 300K$ mark, your money is going to The Slippers. Now, we're trying to get enough for the Scarecrow too. And I hope we Kickstarter backers can hit that one out of the park too.

    7. Belle on

      It's difficult and rare for Museums around the world to raise funds let alone in such large quantities. It would be foolish to then turn away the generosity of donors (both current and potential) once a goal is reached. Yes, the Slippers were the initial goal and that goal was achieved. We should all be proud and grateful. However, Museums are in never-ending need of financial support for all sorts of restorations and resource management. It is one of the trade-offs for having our history and culture preserved. I would rather a Museum make a statement that the funds were going somewhere specific and utilize that to generate more steam and funds than for the fundraising to dry up or disappear into general revenue (which, it should be said, is equally important). The Smithsonian are best placed to make the judgements on this one and I'll be happy walking around with my Ruby Slippers bag and making my Historian mates jealous :D

    8. Missing avatar

      Douglas Smith on

      I supported the RUBY Slippers because I believe the shoes were the entire solution to a GREAT movie I have Loved since I was a child...Watched every Thanksgiving in New England! GLAD we reached the goal in FIVE days, Remarkable. I didn't joint this group to be HIT up for extended offers...and I notice Miriam Imerman...made a statement of being pursued for further monetary help in preserving the Scarecrow's costume. I like the idea of preserving important items similar to the Ruby Slippers...but, don't abuse us who make the ultimate decision of the Slippers. (MY opinion) Thanks for the opportunity to express myself.

    9. Missing avatar

      Chuck Gollnick

      Reboot The (singular) Suit actually rebooted TWO suits because one of the stretch goals was to conserve and display Buzz Aldrin's suit too.

      The backers of this project have kept the slippers ruby. Now, maybe we can keep the scarecrow green too.

      And if we can conserve even more than that, then why not!?! If we could managed to conserve the entire wardrobe from this iconic film, that would be great. I trust the experts at the Smithsonian to make the best use of these funds and I look forward to seeing what they will accomplish.

    10. Missing avatar

      Sherry Brackeen on

      It gives me great pleasure to know that I was able to help save Dorothy's shoes. I remember the very first time I saw this movie. I was 4 years old and we had a black-and-white television therefore I had no idea that any of it was in color. Still, I was mesmerized, I was enchanted and for ever touched by this movie and the characters that were in it. I remember also the very first time that I saw this movie In color. Even more enchanting. When I was that little 4 year old little girl watching The Wizard of Oz I can remember thinking to myself how Dorothy must have felt during her tour deals with in the movie. I too was raised on a farm and Iwanted to be like Dorothy. She was kind honest and a loving individual who touched mini hearts mine included. To this day The Wizard of Oz remains my favorite movie of all times and no other movie has touched my heart like this one has. Thank you Smithsonian for preserving those ruby red slippers as I know this movie will continue to touch the hearts of many. Because of You Smithsonian little girls will continue to be able to see the 'real' magical ruby red slippers. Thank you again for preserving them and thank you for everything else you do.

    11. Missing avatar

      Miriam Imerman on

      I was happy to support the conservation of the Ruby Slippers, a truly iconic memento of a great moment in American filmmaking. I was far less happy when, immediately following the successful campaign to restore the slippers, I was solicited for an additional contribution to meet the "stretch goal" of restoring/conserving the Scarecrow's costume. I can only presume that if this goal is reached, further solicitations will follow - for the Tin Woodsman's costume, the Cowardly Lion, perhaps Glinda the Good Witch, and - who knows - maybe the mayor of Munchkin Town as well. As a professional fundraiser, I must say that this is not the way such things should be done. If the Smithsonian, an institution I hold in high esteem, wishes to create an exhibit for the Wizard of Oz, at least respect your supporters enough to lay out the campaign in its entirety. Instead, we are getting hit piece by piece. Not good.