Help conserve and display Scarecrow’s costume from “The Wizard of Oz”

Help conserve and display Scarecrow’s costume from “The Wizard of Oz”


Hi. I’m Ryan Lintelman, Entertainment Curator here at the National Museum of American History. We want to take this moment to say thank you to the thousands of you who generously contributed to our Kickstarter campaign to conserve and display the Ruby Slippers. Due to the incredible turnout we had and excitement about this project we can’t wait to get started on the conservation of the Slippers but we also want to extend our goal to reach to the Scarecrow costume from the 1939 film. This is the hat Ray Bolger wore in his role as the Scarecrow and we’ve got the whole costume here. And it needs some help, too. Thanks to all your contributions we’re halfway to our goal but we could really use some help to get there as soon as possible so we can make sure that we can serve this American treasure as well. Let’s take a quick behind-the-scenes look at the Scarecrow costume. Like the Slippers, Scarecrow’s costume was custom-made for the movie and is almost 80 years old. One of the chief dangers for costume pieces like this in the museum’s collections is fading. You can see the color difference between the buttonhole and the fabric that’s behind it. The Scarecrow is described as a “lopsided bag of hay” by the Cowardly Lion in the movie. And you can see that the costume makers left some of his hems ragged to communicate his rough edges and unfinished quality. I love my job here at the Smithsonian where I get to care for these national treasures like the Ruby Slippers and the Scarecrow’s costume. Thanks to your generosity you’re helping us to keep these objects on display too so we can tell these stories about American history to the millions of visitors we have every year. Thank you.

15 Replies to “Help conserve and display Scarecrow’s costume from “The Wizard of Oz””

  1. that Ryan guy has a creepy smile. A smile I would imagine to see waking up chained to a table in a serial killer basement

  2. well we know where the dress, lions costume, and now the scarecrows costume is, buuuuuuut……well u know……..

  3. Hmmmm. Maybe I'm missing something. Bolger died in 1987 and his widow donated the costume to the Smithsonian shortly after his death. So, for 30 years you've neither displayed nor conserved the costume? You've had it in that drawer since 1987?

  4. Dorothy costume and Ruby slippers location smithsonian.
    Scarecrow costume location smithsonian
    Cowardly lion costume location The Comisar collection California
    Tin man costume, axe and oil can location no idea

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