Ruby slippers find a new home at movie academy
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has purchased a pair of the famous ruby slippers from “The Wizard of Oz” to display in the museum it is developing with the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
The shoes, one of four pairs known to exist from the classic 1939 film, are believed to be the ones used in the close-ups when Dorothy (Judy Garland) clicks her heels three times to start her trip home, the academy said Wednesday.
The price was not disclosed, but the academy said donations came from Leonardo DiCaprio, Steven Spielberg and former Warner Bros. Chairman Terry Semel, among others.
"The ruby slippers occupy an extraordinary place in the hearts of movie audiences the world over," Bob Iger, president and CEO of the Walt Disney Co. and chair of the fundraising campaign for the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, said in a statement. "This is a transformative acquisition for our collection."
Another pair of the "Oz" ruby slippers belongs to the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History in Washington. According to Profiles in History, the auction house that arranged the sale to the academy, a third pair is privately held, while the whereabouts of the fourth is unknown, having been stolen from the Judy Garland Museum in Grand Rapids, Minn.
The academy said last October that it planned to create the motion picture museum in the former May Co. building at Wilshire Boulevard and Fairfax Avenue that is adjacent to LACMA and now known as LACMA West. No opening date has been set.
Photo: The ruby slippers from "The Wizard of Oz." Credit: Smithsonian Institution