On Monday, April 25, 2022, in Bonems, New York, hangs a blue and white checkered dress worn by Judy Garland in the movie “The Wizard of Oz.”
Katie Vazquez AP
A federal judge in New York has blocked Judge Garland’s dress auction scheduled for Tuesday in The Wizard of Oz, which is expected to bring in up to $ 1 million or more for Catholic University of America.
On Monday, a ban on the sale of dresses at the Bonhams auction house in Los Angeles came more than two weeks after a Wisconsin woman filed a lawsuit to stop the sale, claiming the dress belonged to the estate of her late uncle, Rev. Gilbert Hartke.
Barbara Hartke’s lawsuit will now be heard in a federal court in Manhattan.
Judge Paul Gardef ordered Catholic U., based in Washington, D.C., and Bonhams not to sell the dress until the lawsuit is settled.
Anthony Scarda, Barbara Hartke’s lawyer, told CNBC in an email: “I am pleased with the decision to prevent the sale.”
“I believe that the judge carefully considered the materials of all parties and came to a fair result,” said Skarda.
In a statement, Catholic W. said: “The court’s decision to maintain the status quo was preliminary and did not touch on the substance of Barbara Hartke’s claim to the dress. We look forward to presenting our position as well as overwhelming evidence that contradicts Mr. Hartke’s lawsuit of this trial ”.
Hartke received the Oz dress in 1973 as a gift from Oscar-winning actress Mercedes McCambridge when he was the head of the Catholic Drama School he founded. It is unknown how McCambridge received a costume from the 1939 classic film.
As the priest’s heiress, Barbara Hartke will inherit part of the dress property if she wins her lawsuit.
The dress was lost for decades before it was found in a garbage bag in a drama school room last year. Catholic W. then put it up for auction, which sparked widespread media coverage last month.
Catholic W. claims that he is the rightful owner of the dress because Gartke, as a Roman Catholic priest, took a vow of poverty and that the dress was intended for the benefit of the school.
The school also presented testimony from Gartke’s grandnephew, who recalled that “my uncle, Father Gilbert Hartke, told me I could not get it because the dress belonged to the Catholic University.”
That man, Thomas Kuipers, with his cousin said they and other descendants of the priest supported the dress auction with the understanding that it had been given as a gift to the school.
In a statement Monday, Catholic W. said: “He still adheres to his plan to use the proceeds from the sale of the dress to secure a teaching position at the Rome School of Music, Drama and Art, which he says is in line with Mercedes McCambridge’s original intentions and Father Gilbert Hartke’s desire to support and develop the university’s drama program. “
The dress is one of two dresses that are known to still exist out of several created for Garland in “The Chain of Oz”.
Another dress was sold at auction in 2015 by Bonhams for more than $ 1.5 million.