One of many variations of the costume Judy Garland wore in “The Wizard of Oz” was misplaced for many years. It was discovered final 12 months in an previous shoebox.
NEW YORK — It is one of the crucial recognizable outfits in American film historical past, the blue-and-white checked gingham costume a younger Judy Garland wore as Dorothy within the traditional 1939 film “The Wizard of Oz.”
For many years, one of many variations of the costume Garland wore within the film was assumed misplaced at Catholic College of America, the place it had been given to somebody within the drama division within the early Nineteen Seventies. However the clearing out of some workplace litter final 12 months led to the discovering of the costume in an previous shoebox, and now it is headed for the public sale block.
When she first noticed it, “all I might take into consideration was watching the film once I was a baby and rising up with” it, mentioned Jacqueline Leary-Warsaw, dean of the varsity of music, drama and artwork at Catholic College, in Washington, D.C. “In a manner it was like I used to be my previous childhood.”
She and others are hopeful that nostalgia issue will come into play when the costume goes up on the market at Bonhams “Basic Hollywood: Movie and Tv” public sale on Could 24 in Los Angeles, the place it has a presale estimate of $800,000 to $1.2 million. Bonhams has the costume on show this week on the public sale home’s New York location earlier than it’s despatched to California for public view after which public sale.
Helen Corridor, director of common tradition for Bonhams, mentioned that the marketplace for memorabilia, and movie costumes specifically, is robust, and that “The Wizard of Oz” is a cultural touchstone.
Folks “very a lot keep in mind the primary time they noticed the movie, the impact it had on their lives,” she mentioned. The movie is famend for its music, its dialogue and its visuals, notably when Dorothy goes from drab, sepia-colored Kansas to gloriously multicolored Oz.
There was greater than one of many costume made for Garland whereas filming. Corridor mentioned that 4 are recognized to exist and that solely two, together with the one discovered at Catholic College, are with the shirt she wore beneath. Bonhams bought the opposite one with a shirt at an public sale in 2015 for greater than $1.5 million.
(There are additionally some surviving pairs of the ruby slippers Garland wore, with one pair within the assortment on the Smithsonian.)
The rediscovered costume had initially been given to Father Gilbert Hartke, who was then head of the college’s drama division, in 1973 by actress Mercedes McCambridge, Leary-Warsaw mentioned, though it isn’t clear how McCambridge got here to have it.
By some means, within the years that adopted, the division misplaced observe of the costume till it grew to become “one thing that folks had thought was only a fable,” she mentioned. Final 12 months, throughout preparations for a renovation, a bag containing the shoebox was opened, and there it was — although the way it bought to the place it ended up stays a thriller, Leary-Warsaw mentioned.
The costume was in good situation, other than a chunk that had been minimize away, whereas the shirt was extra fragile.
In researching the costume, it was decided that Garland wore it within the film within the scene the place she is confronted in a fortress by a threatening Depraved Witch of the West.
The varsity determined to public sale it off as an alternative of conserving it, and plans to make use of the proceeds from the public sale sale to create a full-fledged movie program within the drama division.