Halsman, Stern’s Marilyn in New York

Marilyn is at the centre of an exhibition of some of the world’s most iconic photographs, on display in Manhattan until May 25, as Carl Glassman reports for Tribeca Trib.

“If only size mattered, then Marilyn Monroe would be the star of this eclectic display of photographs, simply titled ‘Photo Show,’ now at the Hal Bromm Gallery. Upon entering the Tribeca art space, she greets you nearly from floor to ceiling in 10 poses, wearing that come-hither look and little else. The set of framed color photographs, faded into reddish hues, is from Bert Stern’s famed 1962 series, ‘The Last Sitting’ … While Marilyn may be the show’s dominant presence, she is just the opener in an unusual mix of artists and eras that come together in a logic all its own.

Others include … Philippe Halsman, represented by his own famous—maybe the most famous—Marilyn portrait.”

Meanwhile at Christie’s NYC, ‘Crucifix IV’, a chromogenic print by Stern from 1995, is among the lots from the Yamakawa Collection, to be auctioned on April 6.

Warhol’s Marilyn in Madrid

Andy Warhol is fast becoming as ubiquitous as his most famous muse, Marilyn. In addition to three current US exhibiotions, Warhol: Mechanical Art is now on display at CaixaForum in Madrid, Spain until May 6. It will then move to Malaga on May 31, Blouinartinfo reports. (Incidentally, Marilyn was the subject of a lecture by the British academic Griselda Pollock at the Madrid venue in February.)

Thanks to Angelica at Marilyn Remembered

Warhol’s Marilyn in Palm Springs

An exhibition of Warhol prints (including a 1967 Marilyn) is currently on display at the Palm Springs Art Museum until May 28. In an article for the Desert Sun, Bruce Fessier talks to several of the artist’s friends and associates, including Jamie Kabler, an entrepreneur and philanthropist.

“Jamie and Elizabeth Kabler moved to New York after their 1979 marriage and remained friends with Warhol until his death in 1987 … They hosted parties with New York socialites, visited Warhol’s Factory and attended several lunches with Warhol. Kabler also invested in theatrical shows. Marilyn: An American Fable had 16 shows in 1983 after 35 previews. Warhol attended the opening, which meant a lot to Kabler.

‘Andy would go to the opening of a toothpaste factory,” he said. “He went out every night … He always showed up and people appreciated him. You could count on him.'”

Norman Norell, Marilyn and the Mermaid Dress

First reported here, Norman Norell: Dean of Fashion – an exhibition honouring one of Marilyn’s favourite designers – is now open at the FIT Museum in New York, through to April 14. The exhibition is accompanied by a new book. While his designs for Marilyn aren’t on display, some of his later work is strikingly similar. The purple ‘mermaid’ beaded silk jersey gown on the left, from 1965, resembles the emerald gown worn (and customised) by Marilyn in the early 1960s, while the grey dress, acquired by Marilyn’s former co-star Lauren Bacall in 1969, is very like the blue and brown halter-necked gowns seen on Marilyn in the late 1950s. While Marilyn wasn’t the first – or last – to wear the mermaid dress, she was definitely one of the most memorable.

Jean Negulesco: Marilyn’s Artist Director

Marilyn by Jean Negulesco, 1953

While Marilyn had fraught relationships with many of her directors, one of the few who gained her abiding trust was Jean Negulesco. After guiding her through a brilliant comedic performance in How to Marry a Millionaire, he helped to reshoot scenes from River of No Return and The Seven Year Itch, and was later mooted to replace George Cukor on the ill-fated Something’s Got to Give.

‘Still Life’ by Jean Negulesco, 1926

In his 1984 memoir, Things I Did … And Things I Think I Did, the Romanian-born Negulesco revealed a striking pen portrait of Marilyn from 1953 – and before coming to America in the 1930s, he had been an artist in Paris. This still-life painting from 1926 was featured in The Artist Sees Things Differently, on display until April 29 at Princeton University Art Museum, alongside works by Paul Cézanne,  Georges Braque and Georgia O’Keeffe.

Sailing the High Seas With Marilyn

The cruise liner which once conveyed Lorelei Lee to Paris is referenced in a major new exhibition, Ocean Liners: Speed and Style, at the V&A until June. “We can’t talk about these great ships without a trip to the movies, showing how this age has inspired Hollywood,” Tabish Khan writes in his review for Londonist, citing the memorable scene where “Marilyn Monroe clambers out of a porthole in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes…”

Of course, Blondes was filmed on dry land – the Fox lot in Hollywood, in fact. In a 2017 post over at the History Scout blog, A.J. Jelonek explored the nautical aspects of Blondes and its lesser-known 1955 sequel, Gentlemen Marry Brunettes (in which Jane Russell returned as Dorothy, minus Marilyn.)

“Gentlemen Prefer Blondes mostly takes place on an ocean liner crossing the Atlantic. In the 1920s book which the movie is based off of, their ship is the RMS Majestic. By the 1950’s, the Majestic was long gone. Although all the scenes were filmed on sound stages, a ship still had to be cast as the ‘only way to cross.’ Which one would they choose? Depends where you stop the movie.

The first ship you see is a model of the RMS Queen Mary, but look closely. The ship is outfitted with the Mary’s name, stacks, vents, and other details. But her body is unmistakably the RMS Titanic. It’s a nice money-saving idea to reuse a model, and creates a very … interesting ship.

When they dock in France, the following shot is briefly shown … The SS Conte di Savoia, back from the grave?! This ocean liner was bombed in 1943 and sank in shallow waters. In 1945, her burned hull was raised in the hopes of restoring her to some sailing use. When repairs were deemed too costly, she was scrapped in 1950 (source). How is she here then? Probably some stock footage from the late 30’s/early 40’s was used. Still, weird.

In the next shot, the movie fades to a black-topped smokestack whistling its steam horns. Didn’t we just see the funnels were red on top?? Later, when the the ladies sail back to the States, a shot of the RMS Titan Mary appears again. These shots are shown very briefly and [mostly] spaced far apart from each other, which helps to overlook their inconsistencies while watching the movie.”