An early version of the famous Dorothy Gale dress worn by actress Judy Garland in "The Wizard of Oz" will soon have a new owner.
Bay Area collector Barry Barsamian collects Hollywood costumes, props and memorabilia and has had the dress for more than 30 years. But now, Barsamian is ready to part with the 75-year-old dress at the Profiles in History auction house in Calabasas Hills on July 28.
"It is my hope that its new owner will continue to spread Oz magic for future generations to enjoy," he said.
Barsamian's copy of the dress is a solid blue pinafore with polka dot trim and puff-sleeved blouse. The rare dress was only used during the movie's first two weeks of filming in 1938 under then-director Richard Thorpe and did not appear in the final version of the film.
Actress Debbie Reynolds owned another version of the dress that was also used during the movie's first two weeks of filming. That dress was auctioned off in 2011 for $910,000.
Filmmaker George Cukor briefly worked on the movie and revamped Dorothy's dress and styled Garland's brunette hair in pigtails to better portray a young girl from Kansas.
In the final version of the 1939 film under director Victor Fleming, Garland wore the now-iconic blue gingham dress with a white puff-sleeved blouse. The on-screen garment was auctioned off Profiles in History in 2011 for $230,000.
Barsamian said he has no idea how much his copy of the dress will go for.
"If Judy Garland were alive today I think she'd really get a kick out of the fact that people were interested in the first dress she wore in the movie," Barsamian said.
Barsamian's dress was created by costume designer Gilbert Adrian, better known as "Adrian," who sewed the dress by hand. Garland's name is inscribed in ink inside the face of the bodice.
Besides the dress, the new owner will also receive handwritten letters from original owner Wayne Martin, a copy of the original Smithsonian Freedom Train program and letter of provenance from Barsamian.
The outfit was part of a collection during a bicentennial celebration of the Smithsonian Institution's "Freedom Train" from 1975 to 1976. Several train cars toured through the continental United States, which displayed different aspects of U.S. history. Barsamian recalls going to San Francisco's Crissy Field when he was 16 years old when the train was in the Bay Area.
"I was fascinated because it did look a little different," Barsamian said.
He has owned the dress since 1982 and kept it in cool storage until 2007, where it finally saw the light of day during an appearance at a fundraiser for The Little Jim Club at the California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco.
When reflecting on how long he's had the dress, Barsamian simply said, "it was time" to let it go.
"As we get older we realize that we can't keep everything," he said.