This green lace blouse and black pencil skirt ensemble, created by Travilla for Marilyn’s role as down-at-heel showgirl Cherie in Bus Stop (and topped with a black fedora she wore in the Arizona sun), is among many iconic movie costumes on display in Designing Hollywood, an exhibit showcasing the extensive collection of Gene London, opening on September 29 until December 22 at the Allentown Museum of Art in Pennsylvania, as WFMZ reports. Previous exhibits from London’s archive have also included costumes from Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, The Seven Year Itch and The Prince and the Showgirl.
Monroe expert and friend of this blog Scott Fortner has been interviewed by the New York Post, giving tips to other Marilyn collectors.
“According to Scott Fortner, a top collector of Marilyn Monroe memorabilia who works as a health-care executive, bodily fluids are an enhancement. ‘I have a dress of Marilyn’s with a sweat stain on the underarm,’ said the 50-year-old Bay area resident. ‘That personal touch makes the dress . . . more valuable to collectors.’
Another gambit for increasing the worth of Fortner’s 200-plus-item Monroe collection: Putting together multiple elements to create documented ensembles. He had a mink collar, purchased in 2006 as part of a lot that went for $10,000, and sought the jacket to go with it. He ‘spent forever’ looking for the piece. In 2016, he bought it at auction for $10,000. Combined, the outfit would now sell for $50,000 to $60,000.
He does what he can to keep the value and the threads intact. ‘I [store] everything in a temperature-controlled environment,’ said Fortner. ‘I’m happy to not touch anything. Putting [these garments] on mannequins would stress the fabric.’ With that in mind, he adds that accessing the Monroe collection is beside the point. ‘I’m happy to know that I have it and to have the photos.'”
A final post (for now) on the Julien’s Legends series, in advance of the auction on June 13-14. As well as Marilyn’s bathrobe from How to Marry a Millionaire (see here) her costume from A Ticket to Tomahawk (1950) is also on offer. She wore it to perform ‘Oh, What A Forward Young Man You Are’ with Dan Dailey and her fellow chorines.
As well as an archive of material by Manfred ‘Linus’ Kreiner (see here), several other photographers are also represented.
UPDATE: I have now added the final bids for each item.
“A group of seven color slides, all showing Marilyn performing for U.S. troops in Korea in 1954. Four slides show Monroe wearing a purple spaghetti-strapped dress on stage, three show her wearing a bomber jacket and pants in the camp, and one has a further handwritten annotation in black fountain pen ink reading in part ‘6 Feb 54 – A little/ closer this time.'” (SOLD for $448)
Actor Burt Reynolds, who died last year, once told of meeting Marilyn at the Actors Studio (see here.) And it seems she made a lasting impression, as his personal property – up for auction at Julien’s on June 15-16 – includes several Monroe posters and biographies, including the 2010 book, Fragments – as Scott Fortner reports on his MM Collection Blog.
UPDATE: A limited edition art print depicting Marilyn at the time of Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, which previously adorned Burt’s billiards room, sold for $1.875; but his Monroe book collection appears to have gone unsold. You can view the results here.
Scott Fortner of the Marilyn Monroe Collection blog has detailed his visit to the home of Anna Strasberg, widow of Actors Studio founder Lee Strasberg and heir to Marilyn’s estate, in a 3-part article, ‘Finding Marilyn Monroe.’ Among his many fascinating discoveries, Scott reveals that pictures of Marilyn still adorn the Strasberg family home; Lee was unaware that he would be the main beneficiary in her will; and that Marilyn had admired her future husband, Arthur Miller, since the late 1940s. It’s essential reading for all fans of MM.
The most surprising aspect of last week’s Essentially Marilyn auction at Profiles in History was how many valuable items from the Maite Minguez-Ricart collection and others (including movie costumes) went unsold, while others only reached the lower estimate. In a post for his MM Collection blog, Scott Fortner goes as far as to call it a flop – and noting the high prices reached at Julien’s only last month, he argues that poor organisation was to blame, rather than a lack of interest. Here’s a selection of items that sold well, and others that didn’t: you can find the full list over at iCollector.
Photo of Norma Jeane aged five, with her ‘first boyfriend’, Lester Bolender ($10,000)
Wedding photo of Norma Jeane and Jim Dougherty ($15,000)
Seven photos from Norma Jeane’s first assignments with the Blue Book Modelling Agency, 1945 ($11,000)
Marilyn’s personally inscribed photo with Ben Lyon ($37,500 – more info here)
Black silk cocktail dress with oversize white bow, designed by John Moore and worn by Marilyn in 1958 ($40,000)
Gold pleated halter gown designed by Travilla for Gentlemen Prefer Blondes ($100,000)
Crème-coloured gown by Travilla for How to Marry a Millionaire ($100,000)
Crème and blue gown by Travilla for There’s No Business Like Show Business ($70,000)
Pink and purple satin pantsuit with train, designed by Charles LeMaire for The Seven Year Itch ($100,000)
Silver cigarette box inscribed by Marilyn to Billy Wilder, 1954 ($10,000)
Sheer tan dress by JAX, worn by Marilyn in 1958 ($20,000)
Patterned wool overcoat, worn by Marilyn in 1961 ($30,000)
Marilyn’s personal key to Warner Brothers, 1956 ($10,000)
Red halter dress by JAX, worn by Marilyn in her final photo session with Milton Greene, 1957 ($100,000)
Certificate of nomination from the Golden Globe Awards for Some Like It Hot, 1959 ($10,000)
Black address book ca 1960-62 ($17,000)
John Bryson’s candid photo of Marilyn and Arthur Miller on the set of Let’s Make Love, signed by both ($8,00)
Pucci silk blouse, worn by Marilyn in 1962 ($95,000)
White Ferragamo pumps, worn by Marilyn in Something’s Got to Give ($16,000)
Marilyn’s original grave marker from Westwood Memorial Park ($38,400)
Period costume by Rene Hubert for A Ticket to Tomahawk (UNSOLD)
Brown Skirt Suit by Charles LeMaire for Love Nest (UNSOLD)
Costume sketches by Eloise Jenssen for We’re Not Married (UNSOLD)
Green dress by Travilla for Don’t Bother to Knock (UNSOLD)
Marilyn’s personally owned Ceil Chapman dress (UNSOLD)
Unreleased studio master for ‘Down Boy’ (UNSOLD – more info here)
Showgirl costume by Travilla for Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (UNSOLD)
Charles Feldman’s archive regarding The Seven Year Itch (UNSOLD)
Pearl encrusted gown, one of several copies made for The Prince and the Showgirl (UNSOLD)
Two address books, ca. 1950s-60s (UNSOLD)
Various exhibition prints by Milton Greene (UNSOLD)
Another new exhibition, Merry Marilyn: Natural Elegance, Magical Charm, is now on display at the National Cinema Museum in Turin, Italy until January 28, 2019. Shoes and other Marilyn-related items from the Salvatore Ferragamo collection are featured alongside film clips and vintage magazines, with a festive vibe befitting the season. Nine of Marilyn’s films will also be screened, including Niagara and Some Like It Hot.
Thanks to Rick at Marilyn Remembered
“She was ‘somewhere between Chaplin and James Dean’, according to François Truffaut, to underline the talent and instinct, physicality and sensibility of an actress whose image was based not only on the absolute beauty of a seductive woman, but also on the complex personality of an actress who challenged conventions and imposed a new model. Diva of modernity, feminist in her own way, Norma Jeane Mortenson Baker, aka Marilyn Monroe, helped to dictate the new rules of the Star System, anticipating the revolutions and social changes that in a few years would have transformed Hollywood.
It is no coincidence that Edgar Morin calls her ‘the last star of the past and the first without Star System’, which she attempted to rebel against to avoid the commodification of her own image. Capricious and humorous, but able to amaze directors like Henry Hathaway and Billy Wilder with her talent, Marilyn has been proclaimed by the American Film Institute the sixth greatest actress in the history of cinema.
An inexhaustible source of inspiration for artists and scholars: from the drama After the Fall (1964) in which the playwright Arthur Miller , her ex-husband, reflects in the balance between cynicism and guilt over the diva’s suicide, in the pages of Truman Capote in Music for Chameleons (1975), from the portrait of Andy Warhol who transforms Marilyn into a pop icon; to the recent Blonde novel by Joyce Carol Oates, who describes her as a ‘beautiful child’ with a thousand insecurities.
At the glow of celluloid of the great Hollywood diva, they finally act as a counterpoint to Elton John with Candle in the Wind and Pier Paolo Pasolini, who calls her ‘little sister’, asking: ‘It is possible that Marilyn, the little Marilyn, has shown us the road?’, in a poem that – not surprisingly – is one of the most moving moments of his film La Rabbia, released in 1963, a year after her controversial suicide.”
Marilyn Monroe: The Unknown, a new exhibition featuring the collection of Ted Stampfer, opens at the Historical Museum of the Palatinate (Museum Der Pfalz-Speyer) in Speyer, one of Germany’s oldest cities and part of the Rhineland-Palatinate region this Sunday, December 16, for a six-month stay. There is an accompanying programme of events and you can also purchase special edition lipstick and wines.
Thanks to MM News