Gems of Itasca: The Judy Garland Museum Edition

//Gems of Itasca: The Judy Garland Museum Edition

Gems of Itasca: The Judy Garland Museum Edition

Judy Garland as Dorothy

Judy Garland as Dorothy in the 1939 Wizard of Oz

The first edition of the Gems of Itasca is The Judy Garland Museum Edition. The Gems of Itasca are eight short form documentaries produced by A+B Productions that highlight Itasca County located in and around Grand Rapids, Minnesota.

The Gems of Itasca: The Judy Garland Museum Edition, is a short form documentary written and directed by Alisi Styles and produced by Benjamin Braff and Alisi Styles, owners of A+B Productions.  It is artfully created to capture the history of Judy’s life while in Grand Rapids and the memories that fans cherish from around the world.

The most watched film in the world, Wizard of Oz (1939) has a special meaning to a small community in the deep north woods known as Grand Rapids, Minnesota.

On June 10, 1922, Frank and Ethel Gumm welcomed baby girl Frances Ethel Gumm.  Frances Ethel Gumm would later become known as Judy Garland. Frances was the third and youngest girl of the Gumm family.  She and her sisters loved to perform on the stairway landing at their home in Grand Rapids.

In 1975 Jackie Dingman, a local Grand Rapids artist, started the first celebrity museum in the United States to give recognition to the work and life of Judy Garland.  Dingman also started the first Judy Garland Festival in 1979.  “The collection is quiet and quite astonishing”, claims Michelle Russell, Historian, Author of ‘From Tennessee to Oz’. The Gumm home is attached to the Judy Garland Museum.  You can see the Gumm residence as it was when the Gumm family lived in it.


Gumm family home is attached to the Judy Garland Museum

In June 2014 the Judy Garland Museum will unveil the 3,000 piece Wizard of Oz exhibit during the 75th Anniversary of the Wizard of Oz Festival June 10-14. “This is the largest Wizard of Oz collection in the world”, notes Judy Garland Museum Director, John Kelsch.  The highlight of the exhibit is Abraham Lincoln carriage that was used in over 200 motion pictures.  The carriage was purchased through Christie’s Auction house in New York City. Festival fans come from all over the country to share the joy and happy memories that Judy Garland left behind.  The fans come to celebrate her life and work.  They enjoy watching her movies, and listening to her music.  “The happy memories brings all generations together,” recalls Jonny Miner, President Judy Garland Museum.  “Judy loved to perform for anyone willing to watch.”  “Frank Sinatra once said, we will all be long gone but Judy will not be forgotten,” shared Miner.  A full list of events for the 75th Anniversary of the Wizard of Oz Festival can be found at the Judy Garland Museum website.

Wizard of Oz characters

Original Cast from 1939 Wizard of Oz film.

The festival and museum has attracted over 600,000 fans from all over the country to Grand Rapids, Minnesota. Kip Stauffer, private investigator and President of Alexander’s & Associates, re-opened the cold case of the stolen Ruby Red Slippers.  They are looking for new leads that may help them solve the case and find the slippers.  A documentary will be aired on the findings of opening the new case end of 2014.


Check out the short form documentary on YouTube:  Each Thursday starting May 28th a new short form documentary will be rolled out for a total of eight weeks ending on July 17, 2014.  You can subscribe to Gems of Itasca and receive notification via email when a new documentary is available to view.  Each edition will feature a new segment that makes Itasca County in northern Minnesota unique to live or visit.  They encourage you to Discover, Experience and Share the documentaries through social media.

Check out more about Grand Rapids, Minnesota and Itasca County at Visit Grand Rapids.

2017-04-19T15:40:43+00:00 Monday, Jun 2, 2014|Blog|