Museum Design

This spring, the Museum was the subject of a graduate-level “design studio” within the Interior Architecture Department at Rhode Island School of Design. The goal of the project, led by Professor Emeritus Brian Kernaghan, a specialist in narrative environments, is development of a dynamic, participatory setting for the Museum’s exhibits and programs. In April, 12 RISD students visited Camden to photograph and study the Museum's physical location in order to begin their conceptual work. On May 24 in Providence, RI, each student presented final concepts, designs, and scale models - all of which represented innovative uses of materials and imaginative approaches to permanent and revolving exhibition spaces and attractions. Review of these designs is now in progress.




About Us

The Museum is founded on the leading collection of books, memorabilia, print and audio-visual material, and other works based on and derived from L. Frank Baum's 1900 classic book "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz" - generally considered America's first indigenous fairy tale.                                                                                                                        

Beyond celebrating all things Oz, the Museum intends to utilize the collection's significance to establish a center of gravity for a diverse program of exhibits, conferences, productions, and presentations of many, varied works (not just "Oz") created to enlighten, inspire, or excite young people.

The Road to Oz Opera

Together with the prestigious performing-arts organization Bay Chamber Concerts, the Museum is developing a live multi-media musical based on Baum’s book “The Road to Oz.” The production is being written and will be directed by Willard Carroll, with sets and costumes designed by acclaimed author and illustrator Bob Staake. The concept is to create a one-hour, one-act musical work based on L. Frank Baum’s fifth Oz book.

The approach to the music is not envisioned in a conventional operatic or musical-theater/show-tune way, but to find a unique slant from which to tell the story through character and music. Baum’s characters  in this book – Shaggy Man, Polychrome, Button Bright the Rainbow’s Daughter, etc. – each offer up imaginative starting points for songs to tie together the story; a story about loss, love, reconnection, hope - and joy deferred and joy attained.


Oz In Our Culture

Dorothy. The Yellow Brick Road. The Scarecrow, Tin Woodman, and Cowardly Lion. The Emerald City. Toto. The Wicked Witch of the West. The Poppy Field. The Munchkins. Glinda, the Good Witch. In the history of twentieth-century American literature and entertainment, there are no better-known or more indelible and influential images than these. 

L. Frank Baum published “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” in 1900, and since that time the book has never been out of print: It’s spawned 39 sequels, five silent movies, innumerable stage productions (the first in 1902, and now including “The Wiz,” “Wicked,” and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “The Wizard of Oz”), radio programs, numerous animated films and television series, and perhaps the greatest movie musical of all – “The Wizard of Oz.” 

Translated into virtually every language of the world, the story and characters have appeared on countless products and merchandise, from peanut butter jars and lunch boxes to postage stamps and Christmas ornaments. There are more than 2,500 active members of the International Wizard of Oz Club, and three times a year US gatherings of “Oz” fans draw upwards of 75,000 visitors. 

For anyone who has ever dreamed of visiting Oz, the Museum will draw upon its more than 50,000 pieces to present an unparalleled view of Baum’s beloved creations and their influence on our popular and literary culture.