A Sneak Peek at Newsweek

The much-vaunted Newsweek special, Marilyn Monroe: The Lost Scrapbook, is now on sale across the US, although some deliveries may have been delayed due to poor weather.

It isn’t yet available elsewhere, but I would advise fans to be patient rather than paying vast prices on Ebay. The magazine will be on sale until March 14, and speaking as a UK resident, I’ve found it’s normal for American magazines to arrive up to a month after publication. (And as I’ve mentioned before, previous Newsweek specials have been sold at WH Smith.)

Over on the Marilyn Monroe Collection Blog today, Scott Fortner gives us a preview – including several pages dedicated to Marilyn’s personal property, now owned by himself, and others by Greg Schreiner.

As to the rest of the magazine, Scott tells us that it ‘includes an introduction written by Joshua Greene, and has many photos of Marilyn along with comments from photographers Douglas Kirkland, Lawrence Schiller and Elliott Erwitt. Other information on Marilyn is also included in glossy, full color spreads.’

Despite the rather distasteful rumour-mongering about Marilyn’s relationship with Sam Shaw that has dominated media coverage of this issue, I remain confident it will be a must-have for fans.

‘The Unclaimed Trunk of Marilyn Monroe’

Princess Tenko is ‘a Japanese pop singer turned magician specialising in grand illusions’ (according to her Wikipedia page.) A new documentary, Unclaimed Baggage, focuses on a Louis Vuitton trunk she bought at auction, which supposedly belonged to Marilyn.

The story is that the trunk was sent by the Vanderbilts, whom Marilyn met on her trip to Mexico in 1962. Born into one of America’s richest families, Fred Vanderbilt-Field was an expatriate who had embraced communism. (Ironically, there are few more potent symbols of capitalism than a Louis Vuitton trunk.)

The Vanderbilts stayed at Marilyn’s New York apartment in the spring of 1962, while she was filming Something’s Got to Give in Hollywood. After they left, Marilyn received a reprimand from the owners of her apartment building – probably because of her guests’ left-wing affiliations.

Until Princess Tenko’s purchase in 2005, it’s said that the trunk languished in a New York warehouse. After performing at President Kennedy’s birthday gala in May, Marilyn returned to Los Angeles where she died in August. If the trunk was a gift, it’s possible that she never had the chance to accept it.

Personally, I’m not convinced that this trunk really belonged to Marilyn. However, the emotional response of people to items connected with MM intrigues me, and the vast sums of money some are willing to pay – whether or not they are genuine. Maybe that is the real point of this documentary, which features appearances by Greg Schreiner (president of Marilyn Remembered), and authors Lois Banner and John Gilmore, among others.

Unclaimed Baggage will be shown on French television next week (France 1, 16th January at 21.35.) You can read more about it (and view trailers) over at Messy Nessy Chic.

Hollywood Museum: Marilyn Returns

Back by popular demand, ‘Marilyn – The Exhibit: Hollywood Icon‘ is open now at the Hollywood Museum, through to September 8th, reports Scott Fortner on his MM Collection website.

“The scope of the exhibition encompasses Marilyn’s costumes, jewelry, furs and accessories from her films; publicity gowns and personal wardrobe; her 1961 Fleetwood Cadillac limousine; original Marilyn Monroe artwork, photographs and documents from her private files; and many of Marilyn’s personally owned artifacts.

‘Marilyn Monroe: The Exhibit’ displays the million-dollar dress Marilyn wore on her honeymoon with Joe DiMaggio, one of the highlights of The Hollywood Museum’s permanent collection. In addition to THM’s permanent collection, items from the Scott Fortner Marilyn Monroe Collection and the Greg Schreiner Marilyn Monroe Collection are featured in this exclusive exhibit, including film costumes from The Prince and The Showgirl, There’s No Business Like Show Business, and clothing and furs from Marilyn’s personal wardrobe, including the brilliant green Pucci jersey top.

Highlighting the exhibit are exclusive photos by world-renowned photographer George Barris, who shot Marilyn’s the last photo sitting while collaborating on a book at the time of her death 50 years ago. Barris Photography: www.inhollywoodland.com

This exhibit also includes original works of art by famed celebrity artists LUDVIC, original photographs, including the legendary “red velvet” nude photographs shot by Tom Kelley, and a vast photograph collection of her childhood, family and early modeling career when she was still Norma Jeane Baker; and much more.

Additional Marilyn commemorative events planned:

• Saturday, August 3, 1-3 PM Meet & Greet with collectors Greg Schreiner, Scott Fortner and THM President Donelle Dadigan at The Hollywood Museum

• Sunday, August 4, 1-3 PM George Barris Book and Photo Signing at The Hollywood Museum

Monday, August 5 TBD ‘Marilyn Remembered’ Annual Memorial Service, co-sponsored by  The Hollywood Museum, at Westwood Mortuary

 

Marilyn at the Smithsonian

The Smithsonian Museum of American National History seems like the logical place for a permanent display about Marilyn, one of the most famous American women of all time.

Unfortunately, the museum currently holds just one item of Marilyn’s property – a pair of white gloves. Curator Dwight Bowers hopes to acquire more for a forthcoming exhibit on popular culture, according to AFP.

Let’s hope more private collectors decide to donate and share their treasures with the public. In the meantime, ‘MM: The Exhibit’ (featuring the collections of Greg Schreiner and Scott Fortner) is on display at the Hollywood Museum until September 2.

“Donated by a private collector, the gloves make up the entire Marilyn Monroe collection at the publicly-funded Smithsonian Institution, the world’s largest network of museums and, in principle, repository of all things Americana.

Bowers, who plans to include the gloves in an forthcoming Smithsonian exhibition on American popular culture, said it’s ‘logical’ for the museum to hold more Monroe memorabilia.

‘But Hollywood material and Hollywood celebrities are big business in the auction world,’ he told AFP in the windowless storeroom that’s packed floor to ceiling with show-business artifacts from vaudeville to today.

‘Private collectors are part of our competition — and private collectors have a much bigger budget than we have.’

‘A lot of these high-profile pieces, when they come up for auction, are going to the Asian countries,’ Los Angeles collector Scott Fortner, whose own Monroe objects are part of the Hollywood Museum exhibition, told AFP.

‘I find it disappointing that some of these pieces literally just disappear and we have no idea where they go,’ added Fortner, who has catalogued his entire collection — from a feather boa to make-up and eye drops — online.”

More on ‘MM: Personal’

Photo by Mark Anderson

“Marilyn Monroe is the most famous, ubiquitous, and idolized woman of our modern age. An icon of physical beauty, sexuality, and the quintessentially American dream, Marilyn’s legend continues to grow four decades after her death. MM:Personal is a new and illuminating look behind the veil of that legend, reproducing artifacts and documents – thought to have been lost since 1962 and never before revealed to the public – to clarify, qualify, or reverse many common conceptions about the blond bombshell. Selected from more than 10,000 largely unseen and heretofore unpublished items that were stored in Marilyn’s two personal file cabinets – the ‘Rosetta Stones of Marilyn Monroe scholarship’ – the collection also draws from the important collections of Greg Schreiner and Scott Fortner. These documents, snapshots, letters, memorabilia, and ephemera are joined by the first account of Monroe’s life since Gloria Steinem’s Marilyn to be written by a feminist historian, Dr Lois W. Banner, bringing a depth of understanding previously unavailable to her life. New answers come to light, such as what the dimensions were of Marilyn’s personal management of her public persona, Marilyn’s relationship to the photographers with whom she worked, how sensitive she was to her fans, and the tenor of her marriages to Joe DiMaggio and Arthur Miller. MM:Personal promises to completely refocus how we view Marilyn’s private life, personal relationships, and legacy.”

Synopsis from Amazon

‘Marilyn Remembered’ at the Hollywood Museum

A new exhibition devoted entirely to Marilyn Monroe opened at the Hollywood Museum on June 1st, which also marked the 84th anniversary of Marilyn’s birth in Los Angeles. The exhibit combines the collections of Scott Fortner, and Greg Schreiner (president of the L.A.-based Marilyn Remembered fanclub.)

Some of the highlights are listed here

Scott Fortner talks about his collection here

Exhibition catalogues can be previewed and ordered here

‘Marilyn Remembered: An Intimate Look at the Legend’ continues until August 31st.

WHERE: The Hollywood Museum, 1660 N. Highland Avenue, Hollywood
WHEN: 10 am to 5 pm Thursday through Sunday
PRICE: $15 for adults; $12 for seniors and children under 12.
Public Info: (323) 464-7776