The Catholic University of America in Washington DC mentioned in a launch on Thursday that the dress had been missing for a few years after being gifted within the early Seventies.
Lecturer Matt Ripa had heard rumors that the merchandise was within the Hartke constructing the place he labored and had spent fruitless hours trying to find it in archives and closets.
He had began to consider it was a “tall tale,” the college mentioned, when he noticed a bag on prime of the mailboxes.
“I was curious what was inside and opened the bag. Inside was a shoebox, and inside the shoebox was the dress! I couldn’t believe it,” Ripa mentioned. “My co-worker and I quickly grabbed some gloves and looked at the dress and took some pictures before putting it back in the box and heading over to the (University) Archives. Needless to say, I have found many interesting things in Hartke during my time at Catholic University, but I think this one takes the cake!”
The college’s Tower newspaper had written in 1973 that the dress had been given to then head of drama Rev. Gilbert Hartke, by actress Mercedes McCambridge. McCambridge had been artist-in-residence the yr earlier than and was a recent of Garland’s, the college mentioned.
The present, in accordance with the Tower article, was supposed to offer “hope, strength, and courage” to college students.
The college mentioned that it was unclear how McCambridge acquired the dress.
“As archivists, we were obliged to work on gaining additional documentation for this popular culture national treasure,” mentioned Maria Mazzenga, Ph.D. 2000, curator of the American Catholic Historical past Collections at Catholic University. “We have several photos of Father Hartke holding the dress, and articles from The Tower and The Washington Post referencing it. So the circumstantial evidence is strong.”
Mazzenga contacted the Smithsonian’s Nationwide Museum of American Historical past and Ryan Lintelman, an professional within the museum’s Oz memorabilia, who supplied extra info on the attire worn by Garland.
5 — excluding the museum’s newest discover — have been verified as in all probability genuine, the college mentioned.
“All of the dresses have certain verifiable characteristics, including, for example, a ‘secret pocket’ on the right side of the pinafore skirt for Dorothy’s handkerchief, ‘Judy Garland’ written by hand in a script specific to a single person who labeled all of the extant dresses in the same hand. Apparently, the thin material of the blouse was prone to tearing when Garland took it off after filming, and a seamstress often repaired it before she donned it for the next shoot,” the college mentioned within the launch.
The dress discovered within the Hartke constructing shared these traits, the college mentioned, and Lintelman and two colleagues who had seen it mentioned the “evidence around the dress was strong.”
In 2015, one other of Dorothy’s attire bought for $1,565,000 at a New York public sale.
The Catholic University mentioned that its dress will probably be saved within the University’s Particular Collections.
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