Gary Vitacco-Robles, author of Icon: The Life, Times and Films of Marilyn Monroe, has posted the first installment of an in-depth, 2-part article about Marilyn’s March 1961 holiday with ex-husband Joe DiMaggio in Florida – focusing on the complex love story behind their stay at the Tides Motel – on his Tampa Bay Author blog today.
“When DiMaggio and Marilyn reconnected during the Christmas holidays of 1960, following her separation from playwright Arthur Miller, Marilyn felt validated by DiMaggio’s insightful comment that, after progressing in therapy, he realized he would have divorced a man like himself, had he been in her shoes.
DiMaggio deeply loved Marilyn, and her attraction to him remained strong. ‘Marilyn knew where she stood with him,’ publicist Lois Weber Smith said. ‘He was always there, she could call on him, lean on him, depend on him, be certain of him. It was a marvelous feeling of comfort for her.’
In late march, Marilyn and DiMaggio escaped the hectic pace of their public and professional lives and the cold of New York and together traveled to Tampa Bay’s Suncoast … The couple registered in separate guest rooms across from each other in the main building of the exclusive Tides Resort & Bath Club on the Gulf of Mexico … Eventually, the resort’s management relocated the famous couple to the rooftop for more private sunbathing … In the evenings, the couple dined intimately at the Wine House Restaurant, later the Wine Cellar, on Gulf Boulevard, located next to the Zebra Lounge.”
This street art image of Marilyn was spotted by Elisa of L.A. Woman Tours along Hollywood Boulevard today. ‘It’s based off a photoshopped hybrid of Marilyn’s face and someone else’s body,’ Elisa notes, ‘but it’s cute and a nice thought. I love seeing Marilyn so many places. It’s like she’s saying hello!’
Meanwhile in Florida, the Vitale Brothers have unveiled their latest mural (based on Alfred Eisenstadt’s 1953 photo of Marilyn) at the Playhouse Theatre in St. Petersburg, a city with a historic connection to MM – she spent time there with ex-husband Joe DiMaggio in 1961.
This wall mural of Marilyn in the MASS district of Flagler Village is just one of many new additions to this up-and-coming Fort Lauderdale suburb, as Phillip Valys reports for SouthFlorida.com. (Photo by Jennifer Lett of the Sun Sentinel.)
This 1956 photo of Marilyn hugging a copy of the ancient Greek statue, ‘The Discus Thrower’, at Joe Schenck’s Beverly Hills home can be seen in the sumptuous new Milton Greene book, The Essential Marilyn Monroe. It also appears in The Women, a pop-up exhibition at the new Assouline bookstore in the Royal Poinciana Plaza, organised by gallery owner James Danziger and on display from January 12-16, reports the Palm Beach Daily News.
Ripley’s Museum in Orlando, Florida is organising several events alongside the current display of Marilyn’s ‘Happy Birthday’ dress, including a lookalike contest and screenings of Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, Some Like It Hot and The Seven Year Itch in December – more details here.
The dress worn by Marilyn when she sang for President Kennedy and assorted paraphernalia continues its US tour with a short stop at Ripley’s museum in Orlando, Florida from November 8, reports Attractions magazine.
“Curated by Charles L. Ross, the free exhibit features fan memorabilia from the private collection of Wilton Manors resident Ed Witkowski.
‘When Marilyn Monroe died in 1962 I was 14 years old,’ Witkowski said. ‘Marilyn Monroe was a woman who had ultimate sex appeal. I really did not know what sex appeal was at that age, but I felt it as a young teenage boy coming-of-age.’
According to the exhibit, Monroe was ahead of her time on LGBT issues, and many gay men related to her struggles with insecurity and finding acceptance.
‘I really think it’s because she was vulnerable and talked about her life. She talked about how she struggled and that made her different. Gay people felt different and misunderstood,’ said Ross, chief curator at Stonewall. He remembers, as a teenager in Pennsylvania, when news of her death broke over the radio.
The exhibit marks a departure for the gallery, which has generally focused on people who are LGBT.
‘This is so different because there are so many people who had an interest in Marilyn Monroe and still have an interest in Marilyn Monroe,’ Ross said. ‘It won’t be just for the LGBT community. Straight men and women would go too.'”
Curtis Sneary, a pop artist living in St Petersburg, Florida is the subject of a new exhibition, as Janelle Faignant reports for Creative Loafing. And on his own website, Sneary shows how he created his painting, ‘Marilyn Monroe Selfie‘, a tongue-in-cheek update to her famous ‘subway scene’ in The Seven Year Itch. (Fans will know that Marilyn visited St Petersburg in 1961, while ex-husband Joe DiMaggio was coaching the New York Yankees.)
“Sneary and his wife have lived in St. Pete for 14 years now. They are a team in his artwork, with Beth handling business issues and modeling for many pieces, (her body became Marilyn Monroe’s in that painting) and their goal is to make their whole house into a studio in the near future.
Sneary says the answer to the question ‘How long does it take to finish?’ is a lifetime.
‘Because you put all this knowledge into it,’ he says, adding that the physical work averages about 40 hours, or a month to six weeks.
Sneary has shown the landscapes in galleries and sold well but his satirical pop art has been slower to sell, despite its popularity with audiences.