Smithsonian Museum Launches $300K Fundraiser for Dorothy’s Slippers

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The Smithsonian Museum has launched a $300,000 Kickstarter campaign to raise money for the proper restoration of Dorothy’s ruby slippers, according to The Washington Post.

The pair of shoes in possession by the museum, one of at least 5 or 6 pairs used in the movie, are faded and visibly damaged:

“Even to the naked eye the damage is quite obvious: the color has faded and the slippers appear dull and washed-out,” the museum explains in their Kickstarter. “The coating on the sequins that give the shoes their hallmark ruby color is flaking off its gelatin base. Some threads that hold sequins in place have broken.”

But not all of that money will go towards actual repairs. The funds will also aid research in how best to display the shoes for longevity’s sake – i.e. temperature, lighting, and upkeep. The slippers will be a part of Smithsonian’s 2018 exhibition “On With the Show.”

But why so much money?

“Federal appropriations provide the foundation of the Smithsonian’s operating budget and support core functions, such as building operations and maintenance, and safeguarding the collections,” the Kickstarter continues. “Projects like the Ruby Slippers aren’t covered by our federal appropriations.”

Smaller scale donations earn you tote bags and other merchandise from costumer designer William Ivey Long, while offerings over $1K can get you a lunch and private tour with museum curators.

Hear Oneohtrix Point Never’s ‘I Only Have Eyes For You’

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Artist Doug Aitken’s latest project, Song 1, involves 11 high-definition projectors covering all 360 degrees of the shell of Washington, D.C.’s Hirschhorn Museum with moving images for the better part of a month. It’s pretty bad ass.

But tomorrow night, something that’s even more impressive will take place. Aitken is hosting one of his “Happening” events, featuring live music—all based around the old standby “I Only Have Eyes For You”—from the likes of No Age, High Places, members of Animal Collective and more. The event will be live in D.C. and will stream live for the rest of the world here

To get you ready, Daniel Lopatin, of Ford & Lopatin and Oneohtrix Point Never, has posted to SoundCloud Oneohtrix’s weird, spacey version of the song—which Pitchfork already named Best New Track.

For a song that Aitken told Wired is “almost embedded in our DNA,” Lopatin’s rendition is almost unrecognizable, but that’s definitely not a bad thing. It’s artsy and offbeat and exactly what what watching Aitken’s dreamy, strange art stream across the curved face of a national museum should sound like. Check it out below.

Farrah Fawcett’s Swimsuit Goes to the Smithsonian

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It’s funny how slutiness + time = history. One minute your breasts are on display for all the world to ogle, the next minute your outdated one-piece swimsuit is in the Smithsonian for all the world to wax nostalgic over while scrolling their iPhones for missed calls. This is exactly the case with icon of sex and screen and hair Farrah Fawcett, who recently passed away, leaving behind a heartbroken gang of Charlie’s Angels enthusiasts. Fawcett’s longtime companion Ryan O’Neal just donated the star’s famous red swimsuit, as well as other Angels paraphernalia, to the Smithsonian’s Popular Culture History Collection. This got me thinking about what other contemporary cultural artifacts should be preserved for future fawning. How do we decide what’s important? If Fawcett’s swimsuit is History, is Pam Anderson’s Baywatch bathing attire just tarted-up marginalia? After the jump, check out a few of my selections for a future Smithsonian exhibit.

1. OJ Simpson’s Glove Who can forget Johnny Cochran’s “If the glove don’t fit you must acquit“? Easily the most important rhyming couplet of the 20th century, and it’s all thanks to a stupid blood glove. Oh, also, OJ was wearing the glove when he killed didn’t kill Nicole. Definitely an important part of history.

2. Lady Gaga’s Meat Dress I don’t think this is a particularly important item for what it was intended to represent, which is still unclear, but rather for what it ultimately signifies: the apex of idiocy in the early part of the 21st century. Plus, it will literally smell like 2010. (Unless they dry it out and make it into beef jerky.)

3. The Actual Box from “Dick in a Box I don’t care whether Justin Timberlake actually put his penis in the box or just pretended to. This box is of supreme historical significance. What better way to remember the impetus behind the Great Flashing Frenzy of 2009?

4. The Suri Cruise Umbilical Cord Unfortunately, I’m pretty sure Tom Cruise ate it. Scientologists do stuff like that right? Poor Katie. Poor Suri. One day this will all be history.

5. MC Hammer’s Pants Think about how funny bellbottoms seem now (or even skinny jeans), and imagine how hilarious these will in fifty years.

6. Dan Brown’s Laptop “This is the machine that ruined literature forever and turned the world into idiots.”

7. Bill Clinton’s Cigar Do you realize there are children born today who’ve never even heard of Monica Lewinsky? This cigar must be saved, a talisman of the days of economic security, when our biggest problem was who are president was penetrating with bound tobacco. The future will never believe it.

8. Lindsey Lohan’s Hymen To prove that she was once an innocent. Plus, I’m sure her psycho parents totally have it locked in a safe somewhere, ready for when eBay comes a-calling.

9. Sarah Palin Embalm that bitch and put her on display. Let’s make sure history doesn’t repeat itself.