Marilyn Monroe – 90th Anniversary, an exhibit featuring photographers such as Andre de Dienes, Bruno Bernard, Nahum Baron and Arnold Newman, is on display at the Galerie Hiltawsky in Berlin until January 14 next year, Hans Schneider reports for BlouArtInfo.
A very special 90th birthday party for Marilyn went down last night at Heritage Auctions in Beverly Hills, as part of a Limited Runs pop-up exhibition. Among the guests were collectors Greg Schreiner and Scott Fortner, impersonator Holly Beavon, Tom Kelley Jr (whose father photographed Marilyn’s nude calendar), actress Kathleen Hughes (widow of River of No Return producer Stanley Rubin), and Marian Collier (who played Marilyn’s bandmate Olga in Some Like it Hot.) Photos and videos from the evening have been posted on the Facebook page for Marilyn Remembered.
The ‘year of Marilyn’ continues down under as Australia Post issues a stamp folder, ‘Fox Presents the Films Of Marilyn Monroe’, to celebrate the ongoing exhibition at the Bendigo Art Gallery. The post office also sell folders on their own website – Marilyn isn’t there at the time of writing, but watch this space…
Thanks to Deborah at Marilyn Remembered
In her lifetime, Marilyn was considered a ‘man’s woman’. However, even then she had several champions among the fairer sex, and since her death, female appreciation of her has only grown.
“The Marilyn Monroe I knew was a blithe spirit of the screen. I never met her in the flesh and had no desire for a rapprochement other than her communication to me as an actress.
I was an enthusiastic viewer of the various characters she presented on the screen. I had a definite picture of her as a real person in my mind and didn’t want that image of her changed in any way, although I’m inclined to believe that I would have found her as enchanting off screen as she was on.”
Columnist Liz Smith has held the title of ‘grand dame of dish’ ever since she first glimpsed Marilyn at the 1961 premiere of The Misfits. At 93, Liz is still on top, and found time to remember Marilyn’s birthday this week.
“Had she lived, the white hot of that fame would have inevitably passed by. But in a cooler climate, she might well have found all she desired. We would not talk of her as we do now, as an almost mythological figure, a repository of endless fantasy and speculation. She would speak for herself. And her work, which mattered to her more than people realized, would speak as well.”
Film scholar Lucy Bolton, who took part in a panel discussion at the BFI last year as part of their MM retrospective, took a closer look at Marilyn’s writings in a recent article for BBC Culture.
“The fragments which she wrote on bits of paper reveal a woman constantly striving to ground herself, help herself, and keep on top of her demons. They also show Monroe’s determination and strong will: whether it is in the planning of dinner parties or the preparation of a performance, Monroe was meticulous and dedicated to doing her best.”
Ashley Davies offers a personal take on ‘Why I Love MM’ in a heartfelt – and often funny – piece for Standard Issue.
“In public, she dealt with some of the undermining shit thrown at her with class. During one press conference, a female reporter asked her: ‘You’re wearing a high-necked dress. Is this a new Marilyn? A new style?’
Her response, delivered with total sweetness, a pinch of faux surprise and not a hint of sarcasm: ‘No, I’m the same person, but it’s a different suit.'”
And finally, Sophie Atkinson argues that Marilyn is more relevant than ever ‘because she predicted the struggles of modern fame’, over at Bustle.com.
“When it comes to being a star, too much publicity will always be difficult for celebrities to shoulder., and the emergence of social media gives a new urgency to these issues of press intrusion that have existed for decades. Now celebrities don’t just field encounters with the journalists, and with fans, on the street, but in the privacy of their own homes as soon as they log onto Twitter. Monroe was right when she quoted Goethe: the highest form of acting or music requires that a person doesn’t just exist as a public figure, but has private reserves they can draw from.”
More than anything, Marilyn wanted to be taken seriously as an actress – so it’s a pleasant surprise to find some stellar writing on her movies among the 90th birthday tributes.
In a short but insightful article for Entertainment Weekly, Mary Sollosi selects ‘7 Essential Performances’, and concludes that ‘being Marilyn Monroe’ was ‘her greatest performance of all.’
And over at Immortal Marilyn, April VeVea interviews Dr Timothy Bywater, who holds a Ph.D in English and Film, and teaches at Dixie State University. ‘I think her roles are brilliant,’ he says of Marilyn. ‘I think as nasty as Hollywood was, the roles they gave her, she did a wonderful job.’
Marilyn’s fame was heralded in the media by her first Life cover in 1952, and affirmed by her Time cover in 1956. The Time website has published an extract from Ezra Goodman’s article, with the full text available to subscribers.
Like many journalists of the era, Goodman took a rather cynical and dismissive view of Marilyn’s lofty ambitions. He considered her manipulative and standoffish, and resented her growing entourage, later complaining that the editors had toned down his criticisms in his 1960 book, The Fifty-Year Decline and Fall of Hollywood, extracted in Cavalier magazine as ‘The Girl With the Three Blue Eyes.’
Scans by Roksana at Everlasting Star
Floral tributes were left by Marilyn’s crypt at Westwood Memorial Park in Los Angeles on what would be her 90th birthday, while devoted fans like Monica Shahri visited in person.
Canadian fan Billy made a heart-shaped card for Marilyn…
And there was cake too, courtesy of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (the team behind the Golden Globes.)
The L.A.-based fanclub, Marilyn Remembered, organised a donation to Hollygrove, the former children’s home where Marilyn once lived. Now known as EMQ Families First, the charity has launched a new fundraising drive, ‘Modern Marilyn‘.
Immortal Marilyn listed 90 Marvellous Marilyn Moments on their blog, and compiled a fan-focused tribute video. In Bendigo Park, Australia, staff member Marisa left a memento at the feet of Seward Johnson’s giant sculpture, ‘Forever Marilyn‘.
Mexico loves Marilyn…
Snapchat users (including reality TV star Kim Kardashian) got busy with a special Marilyn Monroe filter…
The Milton Greene Archive shared this previously unpublished photo of Marilyn with a canine friend, originally taken for a Life magazine spread on Asian gowns in 1955.
The estate of Sam Shaw remembered a ‘dear friend.’
Novelist Megan Abbott chose her favourite photo of Marilyn.
The estate of Humphrey Bogart also remembered her fondly…
Everlasting Star admin Sirkuu Aaltonen went on a book hunt…
And UK superfan Megan posted a touching tribute on her personal blog.
“Another year has gone by and Marilyn’s star keeps growing brighter and brighter, people are still fascinated and enthralled by this beautiful soul. Did Marilyn have her faults? Of course she did, it’s hard to believe, I know, but she was a human being just like us. I love Marilyn for Marilyn and that will never change. I’d like to think that there are more genuine fans who love and respect Marilyn than conspiracy lovers who just follow their ignorance.”
If you’re going to Chelsea Harbour for the Design Centre exhibition, there’s another Marilyn-related event to check out in nearby Fulham. Happy Birthday Miss Monroe, a pop-up display of classic images from Milton Greene, Bert Stern, Douglas Kirkland and others, opens at The Showroom Presents from tomorrow and throughout June, Jess Denham reports for the Independent.