A long-lost dress worn by Judy Garland as Dorothy in Wizard of Oz was found and is going up for auction this month.
The iconic blue and white gingham dress is one of four blue and white pinafore dresses in left in the world. This dress and one other are the only two which still have the white blouse. The white color aged and yellowed substantially over the years, which is normal for vintage cotton. The Wizard of Oz was filmed in 1939 and the dress is at least 83-years-old.
This specific dress is matched to the scene when Dorothy battles the Wicked Witch of the West.
The dress was lost in the late 1980’s and discovered last year. The international auctioneer Bonham’s Classic Hollywood: Film and Television will be auctioning the dress. Its value is approximately between $800,000 and $1.2 million.
New Catholic University discovered the long-lost dress during preparations for the University’s Hartke Theatre. Proceeds from the auction will go towards a new film acting program and the endowment of a faculty chair.
The dean of the Rome School, Jacqueline J. Leary-Warsaw, said in a statement:
“Discovering this historic dress was a memorable moment for The Catholic University of America and we are proud to present it for auction, so that the next collector can own a piece of history… While parting with this dress is bittersweet, the proceeds are going to help support future generations training for professional careers in theater. It might just be that the funding helps to prepare the next Mercedes McCambridge or Judy Garland!”
Mercedes McCambridge was an actress and artist-in-residence at Catholic University in 1973. She allegedly gifted the dress to the head of the drama school, Rev. Gilbert Hartke, O.P.. Sometime after that, it mysteriously went missing.
The dress is not the first wardrobe piece to go missing from the Wizard of Oz.
The auction for the lost Wizard of Oz dress will occur on May 24, at Bonhams Los Angeles, 7601 W. Sunset Blvd. It will be available for viewing from May 20 to May 24.