Eve Arnold: The Real Rarities

Leave it to Liz Smith, the first mainstream journalist to notice that the Eve Arnold prints at Castle Galleries, heralded by the media as ‘rare and unseen’, have all been published before.

EVE ARNOLD, the great photographer, took many wonderful pictures of Marilyn Monroe over the course of six years. Eve, maternal and intelligent, was the only female photographer Monroe ever allowed. (MM was more comfortable with men, especially when doing her ‘thing’ for the still camera.) Eve has always spoken of Marilyn in the highest regard, as a photographic subject and as a sensitive human being.

Now there’s a collection of Eve’s prints up for auction. They are wonderful, but they are not, as widely claimed, ‘rare’ or unpublished. All have been seen over the years. The prints have been spiffed up from the original negatives but there’s nothing new.

Perhaps someday, the nudes Eve Arnold took of Marilyn during the famous 1960 slip/bikini session, will show up. (This was the session where Marilyn told Eve, ‘I want to look like Botticelli’s Venus rising from the sea.’ Eve, surveying the star’s zaftig curves, replied: ‘Maybe we should go for Rubens.’) The nudes – MM in bed – were stolen from Ms. Arnold’s studio decades ago and never recovered.

Now, those would be ‘new and rare.'”

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