Judy Garland’s Dorothy dress from The Wizard of Oz goes under the hammer

Up for auction is a blue and white checked gingham dress worn by young Judy Garland as Dorothy in the 1939 classic The Wizard of Oz.

For decades, one of the versions of the famous dress Garland wore in the film was thought missing at the Catholic University of America, where it was given to someone in the acting department in the early 1970s.

But when cleaning up the office last year, the dress was found in an old shoe box, and now it’s going to the auction house.

When she first saw it, “I could only think of watching the film when I was a kid and growing up with it,” said Jacqueline Leary-Warsaw, dean of the School of Music, Drama and Art at Catholic University in Washington , DC.

“In a way, it was like looking back at my past childhood.”


MGM handout photo from the film The Wizard Of Oz (Tophams/PA)

She and others are hoping the nostalgia factor will kick in when the costume will be auctioned in Los Angeles on May 24 at Bonham’s Classic Hollywood: Film And Television, where it’s estimated at $800,000 to $1.2 million in advance sales.

Bonhams displayed the dress at the auction house’s New York location this week before sending it to California for public viewing and subsequent auction.

Helen Hall, director of popular culture at Bonhams, said the market for memorabilia, and film costumes in particular, is strong and that The Wizard of Oz is a cultural touchstone.

People “remember very well the first time they saw the film and the impact it had on their lives,” she said.

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The film is noted for its music, dialogue and visuals, especially when Dorothy transitions from drab, sepia-toned Kansas to gloriously colorful Oz.

More than one of Garland’s costumes were made during filming.

Ms Hall said four are known and that only two, including those found at the Catholic University, are wearing the blouse she wore underneath.

Bonhams sold the other blouse at auction in 2015 for more than $1.5 million.


The blue and white checked gingham dress (Katie Vasquez/AP)

There are also several surviving pairs of the ruby ​​slippers worn by Garland, with a pair in the Smithsonian’s collection.

The rediscovered dress was originally a gift from actress Mercedes McCambridge to Father Gilbert Hartke, then head of the university’s acting department, in 1973, Ms Leary-Warsaw said, although how McCambridge got it is not clear.

Somehow, the department lost sight of the costume over the years that followed, until it “became something that people thought was just a myth,” she said.

Last year, during preparations for a renovation, a bag containing the shoebox was opened and there it was, although how it got there remains a mystery, Ms Leary-Warsaw said.

The dress was in good condition apart from a piece that had been cut away while the blouse was more fragile.

While researching the dress, it was determined that Garland wore it in the film in the scene where she is confronted in a castle by a menacing Wicked Witch of the West.

The school decided to auction it off instead of keeping it and plans to use the proceeds from the auction to create a full-fledged film program in the drama department.

https://www.independent.ie/entertainment/movies/judy-garlands-dorothy-dress-from-the-wizard-of-oz-to-go-under-the-hammer-41596464.html Judy Garland’s Dorothy dress from The Wizard of Oz goes under the hammer

Fry Electronics Team

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