It’s hard to believe but it’s true, Camden, Maine is home to the largest private collection of Wizard of Oz memorabilia.
To celebrate the 75th anniversary of The Wizard of Oz, one local collector of memorabilia from the film is displaying his collection at Rockland’s Farnsworth Museum. Willard Carroll, a Camden resident, has spent the last 47 years building the world’s largest collection of Wizard of Oz merchandise and now he’s putting it on display at the Farnsworth for the public to enjoy.
The property that Willard shares with his partner Tom Wilhite will eventually house the National Oz Museum, but for now fans of the film can enjoy a portion of the collection at the museum. Willard’s collection consists of more than 100,000 items, and only a fraction of them will be displayed in the museum exhibit. Those that appear, though, will be well worth the trip for Oz fans. The displayed items will include the most complete costume remaining from the movie (that of the green Lollipop Guild Munchkin), rare posters from different productions, the hour glass that the Wicked Witch of the West used to show Dorothy how much longer she had to be alive, and several published versions of the original story.
Willard and Tom met while working at Walt Disney Studios and eventually left Disney in 1984 to start Hyperion Pictures, a production firm focused on children’s entertainment that they continue to run out of Camden today. Lovers of Hollywood and movies, the couple have a long history of collecting memorabilia.
After spending so many years hunting for the perfect Oz items, Willard is thrilled to be able to share them with the public.
The collection will be on display from October 12 through March 2014 in the Farnsworth’s Crosman Gallery. You can find more information on the exhibit here. The Camden Harbour Inn is a short drive from the museum and we have many great packages to enhance your stay.
Cellardoor Autumn Harvest Cooking Class
Also this month, 0ur friends at Cellardoor Winery are offering a special cooking class in their Farmhouse on Friday, October 18th from 5:30pm – 8:30pm with Chef Abigale Avey of Trillium Caterers. The class will focus on using the Autumn Harvest foods to create a hearty four course meal that you’ll prepare yourself and then enjoy paired with Cellardoor wines.
Tickets for the cooking class are $85 per person and reservations can be made by calling 207-763-4478.
We hope to see you soon, there is always a lot to do in Camden!