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OZ Museum enchants groups with 2,000 artifacts

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Tin Man, OZ Museum, Wamego, Kan.

Photo: OZ Museum Tin Man, OZ Museum, Wamego, Kan.

Propelled by magic and adventure, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by author L. Frank Baum was a children’s novel originally published in 1900. The story has been reprinted on numerous occasions, most often under The Wizard of Oz, the title of the popular 1902 Broadway musical adaptation as well as the iconic 1939 musical film.

Groups can be transported to the yellow brick road at the OZ Museum, where they discover more than 100 years of Oz history.

“The OZ Museum in Wamego, Kansas, is the only official Oz museum,” said Kimberly Shepherd, operations manager at the OZ Museum. “When you step inside the door of the building, groups enter the sepia tones of the 1939 film, The Wizard of Oz. Guests are given a short introduction to the museum and enter the land of Oz in color.”

Groups embark on Dorothy’s journey through Oz and meet her friends along the way. There are more than 2,000 artifacts on display, including props and costumes from the 1939 film, and other interpretations of the Oz legacy.

“Groups are often surprised at the size of the collection on display, and the fact that we have original artifacts from the 1939 film,” Shepherd said.

Highlights include hand-jeweled ruby slippers created by artist Jeffrey Merrell to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the making of the movie; various hand-painted character masks; rare autographs by original actors playing Auntie Em and Uncle Henry; and rare Oz artifacts, such as original MGM 1939 movie production notes.

“It is my hope that guests leave the museum with a greater love and appreciation for L. Frank Baum, and the Oz legacy he left for generations to come,” Shepherd said.

The OZ Museum is a non-profit organization that opened its doors in 2003. It was built with a major grant from the State of Kansas and with thousands of volunteer hours from locals.

For more information, call 866-458-8686 or visit ozmuseum.com.

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About Author

Cortney Erndt, Associate Editor

Cortney Erndt oversees Student Group Tour magazine and contributes to all Group Tour Media publications, online and in print. She has an affinity for adventure travel; find her on a sky ledge — maybe sky diving — and reporting on it. Her favorite destinations connect cityscapes with captivating culture and good coffee.

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