“When you think of photographs of famous people you think of the paparazzi. But when you see Phil Stern’s photographs of Hollywood icons like Marilyn Monroe and James Dean you think of art. Not only are his photos moments captured in time, but they are also art – photos of an era long gone. Phil Stern managed to break down the wall of celebrity and show people for who they really were. When you’re talking iconic photographers you can’t really look any further.”
Now open to the public for the first time at the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas in Austin.
“One of the series of images that should be in constant demand is the photographic record of the filming of the 1961 John Huston film The Misfits, which stars Marilyn Monroe and Clark Gable. That photo set, which was displayed at Connecticut’s Bruce Museum in 2004, includes seductive images by a surprising group of nine of Magnum’s photographers — from Bruce Davidson to Cornell Capa — that offer beautiful traces of the film’s stars wrangling wild horses out in the desert.”
This photograph of Marilyn with the Kennedy brothers, after the president’s birthday gala at Madison Square Garden, attracted much media attention when collector Keya Morgan announced his intention to auction an original print, earlier this month.
Many news outlets have described the photo as ‘rare and unseen’, but in fact it was first published during the 1990s, and has even graced a book cover.
Furthermore, it is not the only photo of Marilyn and the Kennedys – two other photos from that night show both MM and JFK, one during the performance and another group shot from the party. Can you spot them?
However, MM devotees will be interested to note that the first picture was taken by White House photographer Cecil W. Stoughton, and that singer Harry Belafonte and his wife can be glimpsed in the background.
Kennedy’s aide, historian Arthur Schlesinger, is facing Marilyn to the right, and later wrote in his diary:
“I do not think I have seen anyone so beautiful; I was enchanted by her manner and her wit, at once so masked, so ingenuous and so penetrating.”
Spotted by MM fan Colby George at a US branch of Target, this wall print features a lovely, candid shot from Marilyn’s 1954 visit to Korea, where she entertained American troops – later describing her trip as ‘the happiest time of my life’.
“Would you like to know something amazing? On two occasions, I was lucky enough to go through the two ‘missing file cabinets’ full of Marilyn Monroe documents and property. These were the cabinets from the Vanity Fair article. I saw an original of this shot in one of the cabinets. Marilyn Monroe herself owned this actual photo of her. It was likely given to her when she was there in Korea and she saved it, or perhaps it was sent to her by the GI that took the picture. On the back in Marilyn’s own handwriting a passage written, ‘This one is my favorite.'”
A new exhibition at the Andrew Weiss Gallery in Beverly Hills follows Marilyn Monroe’s career as a model, from 1945-1962. Featured photographers include David Conover, William Carroll, Tom Kelley, Bruno Bernard, Milton Greene, Bert Stern and George Barris.
‘Becoming Marilyn’ opens on June 25, through September 10.
LTL Prints, a US-based wall graphics company, has launched a unique collection of Bernard of Hollywood wall graphics, featuring ‘Larger Than Life’ images from the archives of Hollywood photographer Bruno Bernard. The range includes many images of Marilyn Monroe from her early modelling days to the peak of her fame.
Here’s the blurb…
Bernard of Hollywood premium wall graphics from LTL PRINTS are available in a range of customer-selected sizes (from laptop-size up to seven feet tall), are self-adhesive and will stick to almost any surface (walls, windows, even ceilings), and can be removed and re-hung 100 times without leaving a mark or damaging your walls.