Charles Triplett’s Judy Garland Collection

Charels Triplett

Charels Triplett

Charles Triplett was 6 when he first saw The Wizard of Oz and decided he had to find out everything he could about Judy Garland. Over 40 years later he's still collecting Judy Garland items, though after seeing the photos Charles shares with us here I almost have to wonder what's left!

The more I think about that, the more I am actually honored to have been able to add an item to Charles' collection. I came into contact with Charles after he was winning bidder on the 1936 R95 linen-textured photo of Judy Garland that I made for sale recently. When I e-mailed Charles thanking him for his prompt payment I made sure to include the little note that I've been sending to buyers recently:

I'm looking to put together a post sometime in the near future about how collectors are storing and/or displaying their collections. If you'd care to share, please feel free to reply with any info.

This is the 1936 R95 Judy Garland premium that Charles purchased from me and which led to our communication.  The result is this post.

This is the 1936 R95 Judy Garland premium that Charles purchased from me and which led to our communication. The result is this post.

And the response was another winner, it's Charles Triplett's Judy Garland Collection! Charles first sent along some fantastic photos of Judy Garland gowns, though I quickly noticed several magazines and ephemeral items surrounding them in his display. So my first question was what exactly did he collect? Just Judy? Anything Judy?

Charles replied, "I do collect almost everything Judy, photos, posters, books, magazines, costumes, personal items, scripts, autographs, etc."

Movie Posters - Listen Darling, Meet Me in St. Louis, and Babes on Broadway, with other items in the background

Movie Posters - Listen Darling, Meet Me in St. Louis, and Babes on Broadway, with other items in the background

The images Charles sent along showed off such a detailed collection of Judy Garland items that beyond their display I wanted to know, why Judy? Charles explained:

"Judy Garland touched me deeply as a child when I first saw "The Wizard of Oz" in 1966... I just wanted to know everything about her. No other performer has ever touched me in this way and I still get a thrill watching her videos and enjoying her music."

Beyond the collection, Charles has actually come to know Judy Garland's children, Lorna Luft and Liza Minnelli, whom he has known for more than 25 years now. Of Liza, Charles says, "She knows of my interest in her mother and has always been very kind to me."

Charles Triplett with Liza Minnelli in 1998

Charles Triplett with Liza Minnelli in 1998

As I'm primarily a dealer in ephemera, or what I consider movie collectibles, I've always been intrigued (and a little envious!) when I see collections composed of movie memorabilia, items actually from the films and the stars themselves. Such items can be very expensive, so the first question which shot to my budget conscious mind about the actual collection was how do you know it's real? When you buy a Judy Garland costume what do you look for to feel safe in making your purchase?

Charles replies, "I only buy costumes that I know are hers. For instance all of the MGM costumes were sold in 1970 at the MGM auction. MGM put tags in most of their star wardrobe with name and production number, etc. Personal items you have to really know what you are doing. I have never seen any personal items that are authentic on eBay. Again, you have to really know what you are doing when collecting these types of items."

A 1970 David Weisz Co. Auction Catalog for Wardrobe Items from MGM.  I sold this catalog earlier this year.

A 1970 David Weisz Co. Auction Catalog for Wardrobe Items from MGM. I sold this catalog earlier this year.

So this is not the type of collection that you jump into feet first with open wallet. You're going to want to take your time, study your favorite star, learn their movies inside and out and perhaps start with a smaller type of collectible. You're going to want to find a dealer you can know and trust, and quite often the best movie props and wardrobe items are going to appear at the major auction houses which do their due diligence in tracking down and providing provenance.

Finally, our original question. How do you display these items? More importantly, how do you store them? My guess is that it goes beyond just boxing them up with some mothballs.

"I store everything in acid free textile boxes with acid free tissue paper. I did send a photo of the zebra gown in it's acid free storage. I only put them on dress forms for a very short time. They should not be displayed for a long period of time on a form as the weight will pull on the gown. For instance, the zebra gown weighs between ten to twelve pounds. And, by the way, Judy was only a size 2 so her garments are actually tiny."

A zebra gown Judy wore on The Judy Garland Show in the early 1960's.  More photos of this item are shown below.

A zebra gown Judy wore on The Judy Garland Show in the early 1960's in acid free storage. More photos of this gown are shown below.

Thanks so much, Charles, I really appreciate you sharing information, and especially photos, about your collection. As I'm sure Charles already knows TCM is airing Judy Garland movies all day today (Wednesday, July 8th), leading into the 6 pm EST airing of the special "Judy Garland: By Myself," a two hour interview and clip show about Judy from 2004.

Charles Triplett now has his own website dedicated to his collection at Judy Garland Haute Couture.

The Judy Garland zebra gown from the storage shot above out on display on a dress form.

The Judy Garland zebra gown from the storage shot above is shown here on display on a dress form. Lots of other Judy Garland collectibles in the background.

A photo of Judy Garland wearing the zebra gown that is now part of Charles' collection.

A photo of Judy Garland wearing the zebra gown that is now part of Charles' collection.

The dress Judy Garland wore when she sang the Battle Hymn of the Republic on The Judy Garland Show, December 13, 1963.

The dress Judy Garland wore when she sang the Battle Hymn of the Republic on The Judy Garland Show, December 13, 1963.

Charles had sent along a still photo of Judy Garland's "Battle Hymn" performance, but nyboxers73 has actually posted the clip on YouTube:

Charles also owns this costume Judy wore on the cover of the August 1941 issue of Cinelandia Magazine.

Charles also owns this costume Judy wore on the cover of the August 1941 issue of Cinelandia Magazine.

A better look at the August 1941 issue of Cinelandia.

A better look at the August 1941 issue of Cinelandia.

More Judy paper

More Judy paper

Judy Garland's shoes on display.

Judy Garland's shoes on display.

Final word from Charles Triplett, once again with my thanks for his participation:

I do like a lot of the Golden Era of Hollywood, but no one ever touched my heart and soul the way Garland did.

Another shot of Charles Triplett with Liza Minnelli, this one from 1987 and signed.

Another shot of Charles Triplett with Liza Minnelli, this one from 1987 and signed.

Charles Triplett now has his own website dedicated to his collection at Judy Garland Haute Couture.

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Comments

  1. Kasey bolick says

    I loved seeing all of Judy Garland’s belongings. The dresses are in wonderful shape and look as wonderful as they did when she wear them.

  2. says

    Thanks, Kasey, I appreciate your taking the time to leave a comment, as I’m sure Charles does as well.

    Yes, I really amazed by all of the impressive things I get to see just by asking collectors and customers what they have. This was another one where I stepped back and said, “Wow!”

    Thanks, Cliff

  3. Tom Larro says

    Hello! I’m a friend of Charles Triplett and I just had to say that he is one of the nicest people I have ever known. He’s so giving of himself and loves to share his Judy collection. I think he has the best Judy Garland collection ever.

  4. says

    Hi Tom,

    Thanks for stopping by the site, hope I did a good job showing off your pal’s collection.

    I have to agree, Charles has been wonderful to work with and we’re even talking about doing a few other posts together (which I really hope we do!).

    I can’t disagree, it’s the best I’ve seen!

    Thanks, Cliff

  5. Pamela Beck says

    Charles is my beloved cousin and he is just as nice in real life as he has been for you to work with. Judy Garland has never had as great a fan as she had in Charles. Since he was a child, he has been so taken by this actress. He has the most interesting collections. The care he takes of these treasures shows his love for the actress. I so enjoyed the article.
    Thank you,
    Pam

  6. says

    Yet another great article and collection! I didn’t know much about Judy, but Liza was in a very endearing movie called “The Sterile Cuckoo” that I remember from way back.

  7. Wayne Lawless says

    I’m proud of Charles and to learn more about his collection on our beloved Judy. I have a meager collectrion, only my memories of Judy and 1958-1967, but this is great, Charles. Wayne

  8. Beverly Marsh says

    I think this is a great collection. I have seen the gowns on display in person and they are remarkable. Charles takes great care of them and all the other items in the collection.

  9. says

    Charles:
    Nice JG collection! Seeking myself photos of the Hollywood Roman movie standards that were
    on display back in 1970’s at the LA area Buena Park “Cars of Stars/Plane of Fame”
    Museum, any referrals most appreciated.
    BKW

  10. John M. says

    Its so coll how you not only have Judy’s dresses, but you have a Judy room! I wish I could I could hang more of the stuff I liked up on my wall…. 16 year old here still going through the High school years haha. If you get my point…

  11. Charles Triplett says

    John – Glad you enjoyed the photos. Yes – there is a Judy Room – took me many years to have that. Anyway, thank you for your comment. Good luck in School. Charles

  12. Nick says

    Hey Charles

    So nice to see your amazing piece so well displayed and cared for. Great that you have them here online for all to enjoy as well. Keep doing what you do in preserving and displaying these treasures.

    As a collector, I understand what it means to have these treasures and to protect them for the future. I am very grateful of the Garland costumes I am proud to own as I am sure you are.

    Great to see Charles. And thank you Cliff

    My Best
    Nick

  13. linda selby says

    I am in possession of a Judy Garland photograph which you may be interested in for your collection. The picture is a black and white 5 x 7 in excellent condition. It was made during WW II. The photograph is of Ms. Garland sitting on the back of a jeep. My mother in law was the military escort. I am in a very desperate money situation and am therefore trying to liquidate my collectibles. I also have a similar picture of Jimmy Cagney autographing the sleeves of the women’s military uniforms. I have been told that neither of these photographs have ever been published.
    Please let me know if you would like for me to scan and email a copy to you. I do not have the negatives but understand that they were made with my mother in law’s camera. Thank you for any interest you may have. Linda Selby

  14. Sheree Gilbert says

    Charles,

    Just cannot belive you also have the Battle Hymm Dress.
    Who would have known it was red-just gives me the chills because I think that was one of Judy’s greatest performances dedicated to JFK and helped the county’s mourning.
    “Here’s to you Charles”

  15. Charles Triplett says

    Dear Sheree –

    Thank you for your nice post. I agree with you about Judy’s performance of BATTLE HYMN OF THE REPUBLIC. Thank you again for writing.

    Charles

  16. says

    Charles, love looking at your collection of Judy Garland. My Boyfriend also adored Judy. We have several pictures of Judy, taking on the paramount set of the Wizard of Oz and also have one of her 16 th Birthday with Mickey Roney and Fred Mcmurry. These are 8 by 10 in Black& White,they are in perfect shape, no crease or bend on glossy picture. What your thoughts on these. they are very special vintage photo.

  17. Charles Triplett says

    Debbie, thank you for your post and your kind words. I’m glad you enjoyed the article. THE WIZARD OF OZ was made a MGM not Paramount. The birthday photos so interesting. Thank you again, Charles Triplett

  18. Joost says

    This wonderful collection reminds me of my growing sorrow that so many performers are fading into obscurity. Judy Garland will not be one of them (thanks to people like Charles Triplett), but already fewer and fewer people know Ethel Merman, Ann Miller, June Allison, Eleanor Powell, Ruby Keeler…the list goes on and on.

  19. Barb says

    Hi Charles I just spoke to you. its Barb.I really want that red scarf that she wore in the picture next to her.PLEASE PLEASE think about it you have so so much of her I have nothing.Just one small item would bring me such joy.So PLEASE think it over.I don’t have much money but I would really love to own something of hers.

  20. Romi Reinoso says

     Hi charles! I am doing a wardobe work about judy, do you think you can tell me how made those shoes?? and some of the disgners she used to wear? thank you very much!!!

  21. Tom Holbrook says

     Dear Charles Triplett,
    My name is Tom Holbrook, I am “The Bozologist” and I have learned that you have a few images of Judy and young Liza with Bozo the Clown from 1949.
    I am wondering if you would be kind enought to chare high quality scans of the images for my research files and project on Bozo the Clown?

    I will give you full credit and make note of your Blog site as well for your OK and useage.
    I hope that you will be able to help me in my request so I may add tot he research.
    Thank you very much for your time.
    All the best to you,
    Tom Holbrook
    Email; bozo_history@yahoo.com

    For more information on my latest project please visit the official Website at; http://thebozochronicles.com

  22. Johnlalor says

    I admire your collection is it on show in America , john from Dublin , in London for 3 days passed Savoy hotel ,thats where judy stayed . 

  23. Terry says

    Dear Charles, I have a vintage crinoline slip that my friend Ruth had in hear carriage house.  She said her cousin had it and it was Judy Garlands from a movie. Looking at the size of the waste it could be OZ. Interested? Thank you.

  24. SS says

    I have something described as a hat from the monkey guards from the Wizard of Oz movie.  Is this possibe?  Wire frame with black feathers.  Ever seen or heard of one of these?  I have no way of authenticating it.  Just wondered if it was even possible.  Thanks S

  25. Dannydog108 says

    I have a movie poster, it looks like an original Meet Me In St Louis, its the same one in one of your pictures next to the zebra dress.  I would like to know for sure if its an original, how can i find out if its an original? 
                                                dannydog108@gmail.com

  26. John lalor says

    I am thrilled to see such a collection of Judy Garland items ,I am from Dublin ,name is john I am crazy about her ,saw liza in London back in june 2011 – great show.

    • Charleswtriplett says

      John – so glad you enjoy Judy Garland and her super talented daughter Liza Minnelli.
      Thank you for your post.  Good luck to you, Charles Triplett

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