Julien’s Adds Strasberg Estate to November Auction


If the recently-announced November sale of David Gainsborough-Roberts‘ Marilyn collection wasn’t spectacular enough, here comes news that Lee Strasberg’s Monroe archive will also be included. A limited edition, box-set catalogue is also on sale for $250. The list isn’t yet online, but collector Scott Fortner gives us a sneak preview on his blog today. Many items were previously featured in the books Fragments and MM – Personal, and have never been up for sale until now. “I’ve always thought that the 1999 Christie’s auction, ‘The Personal Property of Marilyn Monroe’, would most certainly be the most important auction ever when it came to Marilyn,” Scott writes. “However, Julien’s Auctions is moving into this same category…”

‘Marilyn’s Bar’ Opens in Twin Falls

twin falls

‘Marilyn’s’ is a new bar opening on Friday at 233 Fifth Ave South in Twin Falls, Idaho. If you’re in the area, do check it out (although manager Debra Lee Hillius may want to check if the quotes on display are authentic…)

“‘Who can’t love Marilyn?’ Hillius said. ‘She’s inspiring, she’s powerful.’

Portraits of Monroe and famous quotes decorate walls around the bar, and in one corner, a Plexiglas case will feature collectibles and other items.

‘We encourage people to bring stuff in and we’ll display it,’ she said.

Marilyns will also offer themed drinks like Marilyn’s Red Ale and a Marilyn Martini — champagne and brandy with cherries. And customers will receive a bottle of champagne on their birthdays.”

Ivy Alvarez: ‘What Marilyn Ran From’

Photo by Jock Carroll, 1952
Photo by Jock Carroll, 1952

‘What Marilyn Monroe Ran From’, a poem by Ivy Alvarez, is published in today’s Sydney Morning Herald. Marilyn mania continues unabated in Australia, with a series of workshops and screenings accompanying 20th Century Fox Presents MM, the acclaimed exhibition of Marilyn’s personal property at Bendigo Art Gallery. That exhibit will continue until July 10.  But if you’re still hoping to catch MAMA Albury’s art and photography exhibit, Marilyn: Celebrating an American Icon, hurry – it closes this Sunday, May 8.

Book News: ‘Marilyn 1962’

Cauchon Marilyn 62

Marilyn 1962, a novel (in French) by Sebastien Cauchon about Marilyn’s inner circle during her final months, has just been published in paperback and via Kindle. It is also the subject of an article in the latest issue of Elle magazine (French edition.) As yet there is no English translation for Marilyn 1962, but watch this space.

“Eunice, Whitey, Cherie, Ralph, Inez, Paula, Agnes, Evelyn, May and Ralph again as well as Larry and Pat.

Behind these twelve names: colleagues, friends or close friends around whom Marilyn Monroe lived her last months in Los Angeles in 1962. Her family. In reality nearly all of her employees. Amongst them, not one whose daily professional life was not tied to their privileged relationship with the actress. For a long time simply recurring names stumbled across in the pages of biographies or spotted at the end of film credits. Bit players in Marilyn’s world whose faces could be seen on her periphery in press photographs if you took the trouble to scan the background. A small, attentive, salaried group composing her ‘entourage’ as it is commonplace to define those whose lives revolve around celebrities.

A shadow army with a subtle and shifting social order composed of allies from the outset as well as new recruits, the strong-willed and the discreet, top professionals as well as no-hopers. An entourage at the heart of which co-existed latent conflicts, open hostilities, suspicion, dedication, plots and sometimes sincere camaraderie. What did it mean to them to rub shoulders with Hollywood’s greatest star?”

ABG’s Multimedia Deal For Marilyn


Following the recent news about the investment firm, Lion Capital, acquiring a minority interest in Authentic Brands Group (ABG) – the company that licenses the estates of Marilyn, and other stars – comes an announcement in the Hollywood Reporter that ABG has signed a deal with One Big Ball Pictures (OBB), a multimedia production company.

“Marilyn Monroe, Elvis Presley, Muhammad Ali and Shaquille O’Neal are among the Authentic Brands Group brands, which opens the door for OBB to develop film, TV and digital content, both scripted and unscripted, based on these brands.

The plan is for the content to target millennial audiences, introducing this younger generation to these iconic entertainers and artists.

‘ABG owns and manages some of the most iconic and influential brands and celebrities,’ said Michael D. Ratner, founder/CEO of OBB. ‘This partnership provides a vehicle through which we can introduce a broader audience to these icons via unique and engaging content. All of us at OBB grew up following these larger-than-life figures. We are thrilled to tap into their respective histories to bring new stories to existing fans and a younger generation.'”

Lion Capital Strikes Deal With ABG

Photo by Frank Powolny, 1953

Lion Capital, a ‘consumer-focused’ investment firm whose clients range from Jimmy Choo to Kettle Foods, are acquiring a minority interest in Authentic Brands Group (ABG), the company which handles licensing of Marilyn’s estate, reports Sys-Con Media. Following ABG’s successful collaborations with Max Factor, SexyHair and other popular brands, it seems likely that the merchandising of Marilyn will further expand under this new alliance.

‘Women in Dior’ Exhibit in Normandy


Women in Dior: Sublime Elegance of a Portrait, opening at the Christian Dior Museum in Granville, Normandy on May 5 (through to September 25), features Marilyn – as photographed by Bert Stern in a black Dior dress – among other iconic women who wore Dior, reports the Malay Mail.

“The exhibition focuses on the elegant women who have showcased Dior’s dresses, garments and accessories in style, from 1947 to the present day. Their personality, style and key moments from their lives are explored through a selection of dresses, photographs, letters, paintings and drawings.

The exhibition will be accompanied by a book, also entitled Women in Dior – Sublime Elegance of a Portrait, written by fashion journalist Laurence Benaïm and published by Rizzoli. The book takes a closer look at the famous figures who marked the history of the French fashion house, exploring their tastes, their memories and — of course — their Dior ensembles.”

Book News: ‘Marilyn: Myth and Muse’

Sichtermann MM

Marilyn Monroe: Mythos und Muse is a new German book edited by Barbara Sichtermann, and featuring various writings on Marilyn – including Truman Capote’s A Beautiful Child, and extracts from Arthur Miller’s autobiography, Timebends, and Joyce Carol Oates’ novel, Blonde. It is published by Ebersach & Simon as part of their Blue Notes series, profiling various cultural icons. (I don’t know yet if it is illustrated, but will update when I find out.)

“Barbara Sichtermann draws a multifaceted portrait of Marilyn Monroe and a collection of texts of famous contemporaries, showing the desperate struggle of the most famous blonde in the world to love and recognition, their fragility and fragmentation, but also her exceptional talent. A fascinating look behind the Hollywood scenes and an intimate encounter with the woman behind the mythical MM, a versatile and still underrated actress.”