Another piece of Judy Garland’s wardrobe from “The Wizard of Oz” may have been found in an American university decades after it was misplaced.
The Catholic University of America (CUA) in Washington, D.C. announced it recovered the iconic blue and white checkered gingham dress and white collared top Garland wore when she played her role as Dorothy Gale in the 1939 film, according to a university news release.
In a statement provided to CUA from the university’s drama department lecturer and operation coordinator Matt Ripa, he says the newly recovered cinematic costume made its way to the top of school’s faculty mailbox on June 7, where it sat in a trashbag.
The 1939 film “The Wizard of Oz” featured actors Ray Bolger (Scarecrow), Jack Haley (Tin Man), Judy Garland (Dorothy Gale) and Bert Lahr (Cowardly Lion). The cinematic musical was adapted from L Frank Baum’s fantasy novel “The Wonderful Wizard of OZ.” (Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images)
“On the trashbag was a note for our former chair stating that he had found ‘this’ in his office and that he must have moved it when he moved out of the chair’s office,” Ripa recalled to CUA. “I was curious what was inside and opened the trashbag and inside was a shoebox and inside the shoe box was the dress!”
Ripa and other CUA staff had been searching for the misplaced dress for years. Garland’s costume from the original film was donated to the university’s prior drama department director Father Gilbert Hartke in 1973 by Oscar-winning actress Mercedes McCambridge, according to CUA’s archived student newspaper – The Tower.
At some point after 1976, Garland’s dress was lost and hadn’t been seen by CUA staff for decades. With Father Hartke’s passing in 1986 at the age of 79 and McCambridge’s passing in 2004 at the age of 87, Garland’s missing dress remained a mystery.
This photo captured by archivist Shane MacDonald for Special Collections at The Catholic University of America shows Judy Garland’s costume from “The Wizard of Oz,” which was recently found at the university. (Shane MacDonald / The Catholic University of America)
This photo captured by Dr. Maria Mazzenga for Special Collections at The Catholic University of America shows the interior of Garland’s costume features a label with her name. The dress had been missing for decades. (Maria Mazzenga / The Catholic University of America)
However, what appears to be the aged, and recently recovered costume, includes a handwritten nametag that features Garland’s first and last name.
Ripa did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment.
In an email sent to Fox News, the CUA says the famous dress was returned by Dr. Tom Donohue and it will remain with the university.
Garland’s dress is being preserved in a humidity-controlled storage container on campus, according to an updated news release shared last Thursday.
News of Garland’s recovered dress comes three years after the ruby slippers she wore in the “Wizard of Oz” were found by FBI agents.
Judy Garland’s iconic ruby slippers from “The Wizard of Oz” were stolen in 2005. FBI agents recover the shoes in 2018 during an undercover sting. Here is what the slippers looked like in a file photo from April 10, 1996. (AP Photo/Ed Zurga)
The iconic slippers were stolen from the Minnesota-based Judy Garland Museum in 2005 and were found in Minneapolis 13 years later from an undercover sting, according to Smithsonian Magazine.
Garland passed away in 1969 at the age of 47 from an accidental overdose.