Judy signs at age 12—the earliest know Garland signed photo to come to light
Fabulous, one-of-a-kind, extremely early vintage pearl-finish 8 x 9.75 photo, circa 1934, of the three Garland sisters by Bloom of Chicago, signed and inscribed in fountain pen by Garland “To Dorothy from the Garland Sistes [sic], Baby Frances,” and also signed by her sisters “Jimmie,” and “Janie.” In very good to fine condition, with scattered creases, mild rippling along top edge, soiling over beginning portion of inscription, as well as a couple of minor spots, and some light silvering and surface impressions.
Garland’s given name was Frances Gumm, and her nickname was ‘Baby,’ hence her signing “Baby Frances.” This unique photo, taken by Bloom of Chicago, was from one of the first official photograph sessions of the three Gumm sisters, when Judy was a mere 12 years of age. It was most likely photographed during the time of the Chicago World’s Fair when the sisters were in town performing in the late summer of 1934. It was also in Chicago in August of 1934 that a monumental turning point in Judy’s career occurred when George Jessel suggested the sisters change their last name to Garland. As you can see in this signing, Judy seems to be between names as she signs her original first name “Frances” and her newfound last name of “Garland.”
The amazing inscription makes this photo all the more interesting as it is made out to “Dorothy,” how ironic that five years later a role of the same name would catapult Garland into stardom. “Dorothy” was Dorothy Gray a fellow child actress and Judy’s best friend at the time. Accompanied by a photo of this item’s original recipient, Dorothy Gray, and a photocopy of a newspaper article in which Gray is identified as Judy’s best friend. Once in a lifetime chance to own the earliest Garland signed photo we have ever encountered, a must have addition to any accomplished vintage Hollywood collection. Pre-certified PSA/DNA and RR Auction COA.