A Decisive Moment: Marilyn in New York

Over at the American Past blog, Jenny Thompson takes an in-depth look at Marilyn’s time in New York, through the lens of photographers Ed Feingersh and Sam Shaw.

“In 1955, Monroe had returned to New York City to capture something of herself, for herself. She roamed the city, taking classes at the Actors Studio (from teacher and friend Lee Strasberg, who lived with his wife Paula at 255 W. 86th Street), relaxing, changing. . . It was, to use Cartier-Bresson’s famous phrase about image-making, a “decisive moment” in her life.

“I’m much happier now,” she told the press in an interview.  Although she maintained a house in Brentwood, she would never really leave New York entirely. She would maintain a home in the city for the rest of her life.

For me, it is a far more satisfying image-memory of Monroe to picture her standing on the balcony of the Ambassador Hotel, looking forward to her future, and smiling with that special something that she possessed all of her too short life.”

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