At the bottom of a garbage bag, slipped into a shoebox, at the far end of the Catholic University of Washington.
What would Dorothée Gale be without her famous gingham dress? The outfit worn by Judy Garland in The Wizard of Oz entered the annals of the 7th art and yet, for 40 years, this little piece of fabric had completely disappeared. But it was found last month, in a trash bag at the Catholic University of America (CUA) in Washington DC.
“Our building is being remodeled and modernized so I was cleaning my office for this“says discoverer Matt Ripa, lecturer and operations coordinator for the University’s theater department, cited by the official website of the University who brought the good news of this find to the whole world. “I noticed a garbage bag above the teachers’ mailboxes and asked my colleague to give it to me. On the trash bag was a note for our former president stating that he found “this” in his office and must have moved it when he changed offices. I was curious what was inside and I opened the trash bag and inside was a shoebox and inside the shoebox was the dress! ! I hallucinated! “
It must be said that the dress in question was donated to the university by Oscar-winning actress Mercedes McCambridge in 1972. And that’s when her trace was lost.
To ensure its authenticity, the University called on the Smithsonian Institute, which manages America’s historical cultural collections, also based in Washington. The dress visibly showed a signature of Judy Garland, emblematic of the costume, as well as a small handkerchief buried in the bottom of a pocket, proving that it was indeed a dress from the film by Victor Fleming … even if it is not quite a unique piece, since “five other versions of the Wizard of Oz, besides that discovered at the Catholic University, have already been verified as being probably authentic“.