Oz in the News 4.14.17

To Preserve Dorothy’s Ruby Slippers, Smithsonian Relies On Custom Q-Tips And A Lot Of Cash The shoes that magically transported Dorothy from the Land of Oz back to Kansas are now about to take a trip of their own — to a conservation lab at the Smithsonian. The National Museum of American History is getting ready to take the ruby red slippers from The Wizard of Oz off display for preservation. Dorothy’s slippers will be spending a lot of time in a basement laboratory after they go off display April 23. “We’ll be doing pretty much all the work underneath the microscope, going sequin by sequin,” says conservator Dawn Wallace. The ruby slippers aren’t actually covered in rubies. The shoes are decorated with plastic sequins, which were fairly advanced material in the 1930s. Analyzing the condition of each and every sequin could take a while, Wallace says — there are roughly 2,400 of them per slipper. Cleaning the shoes requires special Q-Tips that are custom made at the museum. The shoes also must be housed in a highly sophisticated display case to prevent light from fading their color. Although the shoes looked gleaming red in Technicolor, in person they’re a tamer burgundy. All these preservation efforts require extensive research and time — and money. But according to the museum, it’s what must be done to ensure visitors enjoy the slippers for decades.

Wizard of Oz shoes which Latchingdon man bought for shoe-crazed wife go on sale for charity In March, Latchingdon resident Andy Walker bought a 14ft long and 7ft high pair of red slippers – previously used for a Wizard of Oz display in Harrods, London – to satisfy his wife’s obsession with shoes. The shoes became a local sensation overnight with many residents and neighbours noticing them when passing by the house in Cold Norton Road. With the excitement somewhat subsided, Andy has decided to put the shoes up for sale on the auction website eBay, with all proceeds going towards Great Ormond Street Hospital in London. The shoes were put on the site this week, with the auction running until Bank Holiday Monday. So far, bidding has increased to £112. Andy added: “It’s been incredibly popular since it went live, the page has already had 15,000 views and I’ve had people message me from America asking how much it would cost to ship them over there.

American Gods: Gillian Anderson talks Judy Garland “It was a curious process into Judy because there’s something very specific about her and an aspect of her personality that is kind of uncopy-able,” says Anderson. “And for a long time that I was working on her, I was struggling with that, working in my own space, trying to figure out what it was that was quintessentially her. I came to the conclusion that, actually, I might be barking up the wrong tree. [Laughs] Whereas with other characters, there were things I could hook onto that felt like [I] was tapping into an essence of some kind, I found Judy actually the most elusive or the most challenging to bring an element of her to the picture. So I had to ultimately make different decisions about how to represent her.”

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