Marilyn’s iconic 1953 photo shoot with Alfred Eisenstadt is featured in Mid-Century Master, a retrospective for the legendary LIFE magazine photographer on display at Hillwood Museum in Washington DC until January 2020, as Judith Beermann reports for the Georgetown Dish.
Marilyn’s 1953 photo shoot with Alfred Eisenstadt is perennially popular – this image alone has made two magazine covers recently. Firstly, Hungary’s Meglepetes Retro, and now Australian Women’s Weekly. It’s a special edition, the second issue in an ‘Icons’ series, and if you’re not living down under, copies are available on EBay.
Richard Henry Knight has kindly shared a preview of the magazine on the Marilyn Remembered Facebook group. The tribute to Marilyn seems visually beautiful (of course), and well-written.
She also features in articles about her How to Marry a Millionaire co-star, Lauren Bacall; and the Australian-born Orry Kelly, who designed her costumes for Some Like It Hot.
Marilyn has a long history with this magazine…
Fans have posted their latest Monroe sightings on the Marilyn Remembered Facebook group. Firstly, ChadMichael Christian Morrissette found this mural (based on Alfred Eisenstadt’s famous 1953 photo of Marilyn) on Highland in Hollywood.
And secondly, Lorenzo Presti spotted Marilyn gracing the cover of the ironically-titled Marilyn Had Eleven Fingers On Her Feet, a book of Hollywood-themed paintings by artist Maria Herreros on sale in Madrid. This portrait was inspired by Milton Greene’s 1953 Laurel canyon series. And of course, Marilyn had no extra fingers, or toes – this rumour was debunked by Snopes.
Incidentally, another of Maria’s portraits – based on another shot of Marilyn by Eisenstadt – is featured on the cover of Autobiografía de Marilyn Monroe, a novel by Rafael Reig.
This photo by George Barris, taken in July 1962 – often said to be the last professional photo of Marilyn – graces the cover of Polish magazine Zwierciadlo this month.
In Hungary, Marilyn (as photographed by Alfred Eisenstadt in 1953) makes the cover of July’s Meglepetes Retro, while a Sam Shaw photo covered another Hungarian magazine in June.
As well as the recent New Literary Magazine, Marilyn graced another French magazine cover in June.
And finally, Marilyn (and her favourite singer, Ella Fitzgerald) covered a Romanian magazine in May.
A retrospective for Alfred Eisenstaedt – known as the ‘father of photojournalism’ – will open at New York’s Robert Mann Gallery tomorrow through April 27.
“In 1935, Eisenstaedt decided to emigrate to the United States, as magazines in Germany began to shutdown with the rise of Hitler. He settled in New York where he became one of the first four photographers hired by LIFE Magazine. Eisenstaedt’s coverage of Hollywood in the 1930’s is some of his most quintessential work, photographing stars such as Bette Davis, Katherine Hepburn and Sophia Loren, who is known to be one of his favorite subjects. He photographed Marilyn Monroe on a small patio behind her home in Hollywood in 1953, capturing her in Rembrandt-inspired light that beautifully emphasized the unparalleled Marilyn mystique—femininity, naiveté and sexuality.
Marilyn Monroe: Timeless, a new photo exhibition, has opened at Moyse’s Hall Museum in Bury St. Edmund’s, Suffolk, following a preview performance by lookalike Suzie Kennedy last night. Among the artists featured are Alfred Eisenstadt, Frank Powolny, Philippe Halsman, Elliott Erwitt, Milton Greene, Bert Stern and George Barris. Additionally, a silver-framed triptych of portraits and text by Cecil Beaton (a wedding gift to Marilyn and Arthur Miller from Joshua and Nedda Logan in 1956), is also on display (see video here.)
Arts editor and MM fan Andrew Clarke has reviewed the exhibit for the East Anglian Daily Times. (The lovely image below, credited in the article to Andre de Dienes, was actually taken by Joseph Jasgur in 1946.)
“Part of her enduring appeal can be put down to the fact that she is adored by women (particularly young women) as much as she is by men. This is down to the fact that she was a strong woman, who refused to bow to the studio system, went to work on her terms, and was always looking to improve herself … She loved the camera and she recognised its value and the support it gave her, even at her lowest moments. Even when she had been fired from her unfinished film Something’s Got To Give, opposite Dean Martin, she commissioned at least two photo-sessions to not only keep her name before her loyal public, but to let them know she was evolving and moving on.”
In the same article, Clarke also interviews curator Brian White of Kudos Memorabilia…
“One of our personal favourites, however, is a bewitching black and white portrait of Marilyn, from 1953, by famed portrait photographer, Alfred Eisenstaedt (1898-1995). Marilyn, age 26, is posing informally in a simple black pullover and white slacks. Her nuanced expression is exquisite, and her warm, yet casual, intimacy, combined with an almost palpable vulnerability, memorialises an authentic Marilyn that many studio photographers failed to capture. This image was originally shot by ‘Eisie’ as a potential cover image for Life Magazine. At the time, editors considered it to be too understated to make the grade, but, every year since 1953, this image has grown in prestige amongst collectors of classic Marilyn Monroe photography. This beautiful silver gelatine print also features Eisenstaedt’s personal signature.”
In addition to Up Close With Marilyn, the Milton Greene exhibition now at London’s Proud Central, another exhibition featuring various photographers, Marilyn Monroe: Timeless, will open at Moyse’s Hall Museum in Bury St. Edmund’s, Suffolk, on June 2 through to September 30. More details to follow…
Thanks to Lorraine at Marilyn Remembered
British fans can expect lots of media coverage for Marilyn this month. In this week’s issue of free magazine Stylist, Rhiannon Lucy Coslett interviews gallery director Amy Thornett about Up Close With Marilyn, the exhibition of Milton Greene photos at London’s Proud Central until June 24. You can read it here, or buy a copy (N415) for just £1 from Newsstand (shipping costs may vary outside the UK.)
And in the latest issue of The Lady (dated May 11), ‘Marilyn Monroe: An Unlikely Feminist’, a four-page article by Michelle Morgan, author of The Girl (just published in the US, and coming to our shores very soon), is accompanied by more Greene photos.
Thanks to Fraser, Valerie and Nicola at Marilyn Remembered
UPDATE: Here’s a few more…
Meanwhile in Vauxhall, South London, MM superfan Valerie shared this with me – inspired by Marilyn’s 1953 shoot with Alfred Eisenstadt for LIFE magazine.
Artist Alexis Fraser was inspired by Marilyn to use lipsticks in her paintings, as Mary Anderson reports for Revelist.
“‘I was challenged by a client to create a larger than life portrait of Marilyn Monroe but in a non-traditional medium,’ Fraser told Revelist via email. ‘The catch however, was that the medium/technique needed to correlate with Marilyn!’