Lost for decades, Dorothy's dress from 'The Wizard of Oz' is up for sale
New York: It’s one of the most recognisable outfits in American movie history, the blue-and-white checked gingham dress a young Judy Garland wore as Dorothy in the classic 1939 movie The Wizard of Oz.
For decades, one of the versions of the dress Garland wore in the movie was assumed lost at Catholic University of America, where it had been given to someone in the drama department in the early 1970s. But the clearing out of some office clutter last year led to the finding of the dress in an old shoebox, and now it’s headed for auction.
When she first saw it, “all I could think about was watching the movie when I was a child and growing up with” it, said Jacqueline Leary-Warsaw, dean of the school of music, drama and art at Catholic University, in Washington, D.C. “In a way it was like I was looking at my past childhood.”
She and others are hopeful that nostalgia factor will come into play when the costume goes up for sale at Bonhams “Classic Hollywood: Film and Television” auction on May 24 in Los Angeles, where it has a presale estimate of $800,000 to $1.2 million.
Bonhams has the dress on display this week at the auction house’s New York location before it is sent to California for public view and auction.
Helen Hall, director of popular culture for Bonhams, said the market for memorabilia, and film costumes in particular, is strong, and that The Wizard of Oz is a cultural touchstone.