Smithsonian Will Stretch to Save Scarecrow’s Costume, Too Curators from the National Museum of American History announced today that with the remaining days left in the campaign, they hope to leverage ongoing interest in preserving the costume to help protect the Scarecrow’s costume. They’re asking the public for an additional stretch goal of $85,000 for the care and display of the Scarecrow’s costume from the 1939 film. It’s the outfit comedian Ray Bolger wore as he clumsily walked his way into America’s heart. As Dorothy’s first companion on the Yellow Brick Road, the straw-stuffed Scarecrow holds a central place in the film—and in the career of Bolger. The comic actor loved his role in The Wizard of Oz so much that he saved his costume. When he died in 1987, it was donated to the Smithsonian by his widow, Gwendolyn Bolger. The unique physical style that made Bolger such a hilariously memorable dancer is evident in his costume, which evokes Bolger’s bendy body for Ryan Lintelman, curator of the National Museum of American History’s entertainment collection, even today. Consisting of a hat, trousers, jacket, collar, gloves, cuffs, belt and shoes, it was donated complete with a bag of raffia that Bolger used to create that stuffed scarecrow look. “It really accentuates the crazy moves that he made when he was dancing,” Lintelman tells Smithsonian.com.
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