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Lot 414: Judy Garland early "Dorothy" dress from The Wizard of Oz.Platinum House
July 28, 2013
Calabasas Hills, CA, USALive Auction
Judy Garland early “Dorothy” dress from The Wizard of Oz. (MGM, 1939) This is Judy Garland’s “Dorothy” dress from the early Richard Thorpe-directed filming of The Wizard of Oz. Designed by legendary MGM costume designer Gilbert Adrian, the dress is a blue cotton dress with polka dot trim with blue cotton puff-sleeve blouse with matching trim. Written in the inside face of the bodice in indelible ink is “Judy Garland” along with the number “2-A.” Judy Garland wore this style dress for the first two weeks of filming in October 1938 under director Richard Thorpe when Buddy Ebsen was the “Tin Man”. Scenes filmed during this period include the “Scarecrow’s” cornfield as well as around the “Wicked Witch’s” castle in the Tower Room. Production halted and Thorpe was fired before the job finally fell on Victor Fleming’s shoulders. Wayne Martin, a well-known personal friend of Judy Garland, obtained this dress from costumer Kent Warner who was hired by the David Weisz Co. to identify costumes and organize the now-legendary MGM Auction in 1970. Martin’s intent was to create a Judy Garland museum, but due to Judy’s untimely death, it never came to fruition. However, Martin loaned the dress to The Smithsonian and it toured 26,000 miles across 48 states from 1975 to 1976 as part of the Bicentennial celebration of The Smithsonian’s “Freedom Train”. The traveling exhibit featured a different aspect of U.S. history and memorabilia in each of 12 train cars, and this dress was featured in one of those cars. The dress is accompanied by letters of provenance as well as a copy of the original Smithsonian “Freedom Train” program picturing the Judy Garland “Dorothy” dress. Another Thorpe-era “Dorothy” dress (its virtual twin) was a highlight of the Debbie Reynolds Collection and was sold at auction by Profiles in History in 2011 for an astounding sum of $1,092,000. This dress is from the collection of Hollywood historian and collector Barry Barsamian who has dedicatedly cared for this iconic costume for the past 32 years. He has had numerous exhibitions to raise money for various charities. In vintage, very good condition.