If the 1939 movie Wizard of Oz is consider an American classic of film making then the red ruby shoes worn by Dorothy in the movie have to be one of the most memorable items from that movie. Apparently there were actually four pair of them made for the movie and they are all considered to be the ultimate memorabilia to collect from all of Hollywood.
Recent one of the pairs, the one believed to be used for all the close up shots and the best maintain, showed up for auction but thanks to a group led by Leonardo DiCapria this pair will have a new home where everyone will be able to enjoy them instead of being locked away in some collectors private collection.
While the home for the shoes, the Academy Museum, is still waiting to be completed the shoes were acquired by the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences with the help of not just DiCaprio but also Steven Spielberg and LACMA co-char Terry Semel and other unnamed, as of yet, persons.
The accolades were flowing at the news of the purchase as everyone wanted to thank those involved for helping to keep a piece of American film history in the public arena.
“Leo’s passionate leadership has helped us bring home this legendary piece of movie history,” said Academy CEO Dawn Hudson. “It’s a wonderful gift to the Academy museum project, and a perfect representation of the work we do year-round to preserve and share our film heritage.”
Walt Disney CEO and chair of the capital campaign for the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures Bob Iger echoed Hudson’s sentiments. “The ruby slippers occupy an extraordinary place in the hearts of movie audiences the world over,” he said. “This is a transformative acquisition for our collection.”
According to Rhys Thomas, author of The Ruby Slippers of Oz, these shoes are consider the holy grail for all collectors of Hollywood memorabilia so thankfully DiCaprio and friends were able to raise the money needed to buy the shoes.