GRAND RAPIDS, MINN. (August 29, 2005) – The most recognizable pair of shoes in movie history – the sequined ruby slippers Dorothy wore in “The Wizard of Oz” – was reported stolen from the Judy Garland Museum in Grand Rapids, Minnesota on Sunday, August 28.
The slippers are one of four remaining pair of the ruby slippers worn by Judy Garland in the filming of the 1939 classic movie.
The famous shoes are owned by Hollywood memorabilia collector Michael Shaw and were on loan to the museum for the summer. Shaw had also loaned the slippers to the museum for the 2004 summer. The slippers were to have been returned to Shaw after Labor Day.
Four pair of ruby slippers remains today. One has been at the Smithsonian since 1979; another sold at Christie’s in 2000 for $660,000.
“I am devastated,” said John Kelsch, executive director of the Judy Garland Museum.
“Michael Shaw is a friend of this museum and has been a special guest at the Judy Garland Festival for years. The slippers are a major attraction at our museum, the birthplace of Judy Garland. It is our hope that the slippers can be recovered immediately.”
The Judy Garland Museum is the home of the world’s largest collection of Judy Garland memorabilia on exhibit to the public. The museum opened in 1995. Grand Rapids, Minnesota is in the heart of Minnesota‘s lake resort country, 175 miles north Minneapolis/St. Paul.