Catholic University Selling Dorothy’s Dress

Source: Catholic News Service

The Catholic University of America announces it will sell the dress worn by Judy Garland during the film The Wizard of Oz, to raise funds to support the establishment of the school’s new film acting program.

The dress appeared after being missing for more than 40 years but reappeared at the university last year. The costume, worn by Garland, was initially given to the theater department as a gift in 1973. Lost during the 1980s, it was discovered during a campus theater renovation last year.

The dress is estimated to be worth $800,000 to $1.2 million and will be auctioned May 24 in Los Angeles at the “Bonhams Classic Hollywood: Film and Television” sale run by the international auction house.

The costume is one of four blue and white pinafore dresses made especially for Garland during filming of the movie. Only three of the four dresses are known to be extant.

This particular dress was worn by Garland during the castle scene where she was facing the wicked witch of the west in her castle.

Mercedes McCambridge, a Hollywood actress and artist-in-residence at Catholic University in 1973, gave the dress to Dominican Father Gilbert Hartke, the founder of the university’s drama department.

“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,” said Jacqueline Leary-Warsaw, dean of the university’s Benjamin T. Rome School of Music, Drama and Art.

“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,” she said in a statement.

According to university records, the dress was given to Father Hartke to support the school’s drama department.

“Important costumes from this iconic movie rarely appear on the auction market and to be able to pinpoint the scene in which this was worn by Judy Garland is thrilling,” said Helen Hall, director of popular culture at Bonhams in Los Angeles.

Another of Garland’s dresses sold in 2015 by Bonhams for over $1.5 million.

Currently, Catholic University’s dress is on display at Bonhams New York April 23-29 and at Bonhams Los Angeles May 20-24 prior to the May 24 sale.

Source: Catholic News Service