National Museum of American History Ruby Slippers Leave for Victoria and Albert Museum

. October 10, 2012

The National Museum of American History will loan its pair of the famous Ruby Slippers Judy Garland wore in the 1939 MGM film The Wizard of Oz for six weeks. The slippers will reunite with Dorothy’s blue-and-white gingham pinafore dress in a new exhibition called “Hollywood Costume” at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London opening Oct. 20. This is the first time the slippers have travelled internationally and the first time Garland’s dress and shoes have been reunited since filming completed in 1938.

The slippers are currently on view in the museum’s “American Stories” exhibition through Oct. 8; the museum is open from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. The Wizard of Oz movie is a fantasy tale about Dorothy’s (a Kansas farm girl) journey to a magical land and was based on the 1900 novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum (1856-1919). In addition to its many other merits, the MGM movie ranks as a milestone in the history of Technicolor because of its extensive color sequences set in the Land of Oz. The magical shoes, changed from the book’s silver slippers to those with an iridescent red hue, played a central role in the film. The Ruby Slippers were designed by Gilbert Adrian, MGM Studios’ chief costume designer. Adrian also designed the many costumes in The Wizard of Oz, including Ray Bolger’s Scarecrow costume, which is also in the museum’s collection.

The National Museum of American History collects, preserves and displays American heritage in the areas of social, political, cultural, scientific and military history. To learn more about the museum, visit americanhistory.si.edu.

Category: Antiquities

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