Follow the Road to Ownership

Yellow brick lawsuit

Almost fifty years after a dress was gifted to a priest at The Catholic University of America, a relative is challenging the determined ownership of the costume. The significance of the blue and white gingham dress and paired white blouse is legendary. Judy Garland’s acquired costume in the iconic Wizard of Oz is one of four total dresses and one of two dresses with the matching blouse known to still be in existence. Actress Mercedes McCambridge, who died in 2004, gave the costume to Rev. Gilbert Hartke in 1973 as a ‘thank you’ for helping her through her substance use issues. Now, the priest’s niece, Barbara Hartke, contends that the dress belongs to her, as the heir of her uncle’s estate. Read more