‘Face to Face’ With Marilyn in The Hague

Marilyn is featured in Face to Face, a new exhibition at the National Archives in The Hague, Netherlands until January 6, 2019.

“The way we look at history is always shaded by our own background. With every narrative, we have to ask: What are we looking at? Whose story is being told? And from whose perspective has that story been recorded? The exhibition FACE TO FACE uncovers both well known testimonies and hidden stories from the holdings of the National Archives, the largest photography collection in the Netherlands.

Thanks to Sacha at Marilyn Remembered

Marilyn ‘Re-Imagined’ in Spartansburg

Artist Kirkland Thomas Smith’s portrait of Marilyn – inspired by Bert Stern, and assembled with reclaimed materials – is featured in her new exhibition, Re-Imagined, at the Curtis R. Harley Gallery in Spartansburg (part of the University of South Carolina Upstate) until September 21, as Samantha Swann reports for GroupState.

“The series carries an environmental message, which Smith said was inspired by the plastic toys that her four children accumulated. That caused her to think about just how many plastic items people can accumulate, even when trying not to. Before starting this series of work 10 years ago, Smith focused on traditional portraiture.

‘When I was trying to figure out how I could paint a picture of our consumerism, I just didn’t feel like I could make a bold enough statement painting a picture of it, and that’s where I got the idea to just use the stuff as my paint,’ Smith said.

Smith said that before starting the project, she, like many people, assumed that all plastics were recyclable. They are not. In fact many are not, she said. The items Smith uses would normally be thrown away — some are items that she or others have saved from trash cans, while others were purchased at yard sales or thrift stores.

While she wants the work to be fun, she also hopes that it will make viewers think about the amount of plastic and non-recyclable items in their daily lives and about the legacy being left for future generations.”

What Makes Marilyn a ‘Timeless’ Icon?

Marilyn Monroe: Timeless, the exhibition which opened at Moyse’s Hall Museum in Bury St Edmunds on June 1 (Marilyn’s birthday), remains on display until September 30. Among the photographs is an important Monroe artifact – the framed Cecil Beaton ‘triptych’ gifted to her by Joshua and Nedda Logan in 1956, when she married Arthur Miller.

Over at the Eastern Daily Press, arts editor (and MM aficionado) Andrew Clarke asks why is Marilyn – along with only a few other stars, like Steve McQueen and Audrey Hepburn – still iconic today?

“Marilyn continues to transcend time. All these pictures were taken between 1948 and 1962. They are a window into a life which has long since ended and reveal a world that no longer exists. Marilyn lived at a time when Hollywood studios still had stars under contract and America was yet to be scarred by the Vietnam War and long-drawn out wars in the Middle East.

These images shouldn’t speak to us but they do. Marilyn Monroe, as the exhibition makes clear in its title, is timeless. She has a talent and personality that not only continue enchant fans who grew up with her but, judging by the age of my fellow visitors, who were largely young women, she continues to attract new fans.

Although her films continue to find new audiences – restoration film company Park Circus have re-issued Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and Some Like It Hot in recent years – the real secret to her success is that her image speaks louder than her work.

This then begs the question when does a star become an icon? Stars fade but do icons live forever? It’s an interesting question. If that is the case, what attributes do you need to become an icon?

Popularity is part of the equation but it’s not everything. You have got to have presence and you’ve got to have a unique style about you. It’s that uniqueness that will help you stand the test of time – and you have got to have a quality that speaks to people and makes them care about you.”

‘Essentially Marilyn’ Opens at the Paley Center

The new exhibition, Essentially Marilyn, has opened at the Paley Center for Media in Los Angeles. Admission is free until September 30, ahead of the Profiles in History auction in October. The exhibit showcases the remarkable collection of Maite Minguez Ricart, all the way from Spain. Jackie Craig shared these photos of Monroe’s glamorous movie costumes and personal artifacts on Marilyn Remembered – you can see more here.

A number of personal items are also on offer, including several family photos inscribed by Marilyn on the reverse.

Marion Monroe (brother of Gladys) with son Jack, and mother Della
Mementos from Marilyn’s high school days
Jim Dougherty at 17 with sister Lydia Hayes, and after his marriage to Marilyn
Marilyn’s address book, and her gift to Billy Wilder
Jack Cardiff’s 1956 portrait of Marilyn, which Arthur Miller kept in his study after they married

Marilyn, Ben Lyon and the Story of a New Name

Ahead of the Essentially Marilyn exhibition’s grand opening at the Paley Centre in Los Angeles tomorrow, Olivia B. Waxman uncovers the story behind this signed photo – taken during filming of The Seven Year Itch – showing Marilyn with Fox talent scout Ben Lyon, in an article for Time. The photo – to be sold at auction by Profiles in History in October – refutes some of the more outlandish rumours about how Marilyn got her name (I’m looking at you, Mickey Rooney.) It won’t be news to longstanding fans, however, as biographer Fred Lawrence Guiles first quoted Marilyn’s words to Lyon back in 1969.

“The above photograph — inscribed by Marilyn Monroe to Lyon: “Dear Ben, You found me, named me and believed in me when no one else did. My thanks and love forever. Marilyn’ … [is] Considered to be one of the most important photographs in Hollywood history because it debunks myths about how she got her iconic stage name, it could fetch more than $100,000, according to Profiles in History CEO Joseph Maddalena, who runs the auction house that specializes in Hollywood memorabilia. He said photos autographed by Monroe usually fetch between $20,000 and $30,000.

So how was the name Marilyn Monroe chosen?

It was a team effort, according to one account of how it happened by Monroe biographer Donald Spoto. At the time, Lyon thought there were too many possible pronunciations of “Dougherty,” the surname of her soon-to-be ex-husband. The 20-year-old model — who was born Norma Jeane Mortenson and later baptized Norma Jeane Baker — suggested Monroe, another surname on the mother’s side of the family, while Lyon came up with Marilyn because she reminded him of Marilyn Miller, the Ziegfeld Follies Broadway musical star who starred with him and W.C. Fields in Her Majesty, Love. (Miller and Lyon were also thought to have been romantically involved at one point ) It would be apt that the two performers would share the same name, in more ways than one. Spoto points out that not only were they similar on the surface — both blonde in appearance — but also because they both had complicated personal lives, including failed marriages.”

Dark Tales: Marilyn in the Underworld

Artist Pam Glew has merged Marilyn with a Norse goddess in Dark Tales, a solo exhibition at The Art of Protest Gallery until July 31, as Charles Hutchinson reports for York Press.

“Glew, who lives in Brighton with her family and has a studio in her back garden, is best known for her distinctive paintings on fabric, using dye and stitch to paint, deconstruct and distress vintage materials in her own style of painting.

This summer she comes to York with a show that blends the mythology that filled Glew’s life growing up in North Cornwall as ‘a weird grungy kid with a sketch book and a love of music’ with the influence of her first visit to York in 2017.

‘I was inspired by York’s Viking past woven throughout the city, so I used Norse mythology as the nucleus for the show,’ she says. ‘The strong Norse goddesses featured include Hel, goddess of the underworld; Freyja, goddess of sex, fertility, war and wealth; Nott, goddess of night, and Skadi, goddess of the hunt and winter.

‘While researching, I was struck by how balanced the portrayal of women seemed to be; they are both light and dark, dangerous and caring, and not in any way superficial. The multifaceted trend of the gods, whereby they are both hard and soft, runs through the representational paintings in my solo show.

Hel, for example, is an entertainer to the dead; she is half beauty, half skull, and is painted on a split skull textile applique using ornate Japanese gold-printed fabric and calico.’

Glew re-imagines Norse goddesses as screen stars, Hel becoming Marilyn Monroe and Lofn, goddess of forbidden love, being transformed into Rita Hayworth, while Britannia takes the form of Elizabeth Taylor.”