News & Politics

Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s Famous Dissent Collar—and Her Legos and MTV Award—Are Now Part of the Smithsonian

The late Supreme Court justice's children also donated her bobblehead to the collection.

The Ruth Bader Ginsburg bobblehead doll is one of nearly two dozen artifacts donated to the National Museum of American History by Ginsberg's children. All photos by Jaclyn Nash, courtesy of the National Museum of American History.

The Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History—home to the ruby slippers from The Wizard of Oz and a recreation of Julia Child’s kitchen—will now house several of late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s personal items.

The museum previewed the artifacts, donated by Ginsburg’s children Jane and James Ginsburg, Wednesday during a virtual tribute. Judge Ginsburg was also awarded a posthumous Great Americans medal, which honors figures who have made a lasting impact in their fields.

The family donation includes famous artifacts like Ginsburg’s beaded “dissent collar,” her judicial robe, and a leather briefcase with gold “RBG” lettering. But there are some oddities, too, such as Lego figurines and a photo of an RBG tattoo. Let’s take a look:

Bobblehead doll

Publication the Green Bag produces bobblehead figures of the justices that include allusions to notable cases. Ginsburg’s doll nods to United States v. Virginia and Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co.

2019 MTV Movie Award

Ginsburg won a 2019 MTV Movie Award for “Best Real-Life Hero,” beating out tennis star Serena Williams and rock climber Alex Honnold. The pioneer for gender equality was also nominated for “Best Fight,” for her work combating inequality as shown in the 2018 documentary RBG.

Image of an RBG tattoo

A fan sent the judge a photo of a tattoo of Ginsburg’s face. She hung it in her chamber’s powder room.

Cartoon of Justices Scalia and Ginsburg

This illustration by Elizabeth Baddeley shows the late Justice Antonin Scalia and Ginsburg in vigorous dissent. Scalia and Ginsburg, despite being on the opposite sides of the political spectrum, were close friends.

On the Basis of Sex signed movie poster

The 2018 movie, which was written by Ginsburg’s nephew, Daniel Stiepleman, is a biopic of RBG’s life and her journey to becoming a Supreme Court Justice.

While there are currently no plans to display the objects at the museum, you can catch a look at them via the virtual event in which the items were unveiled.

David Tran
Editorial Fellow