Bonhams’ Entertainment Memorabilia

Marilyn at the circus (Marvin Scott, 1955)

The Emerson Junior High Class of 1941 photo, featuring a young Norma Jeane Baker, is among several Monroe-related items on offer at Bonhams’ Entertainment Memorabilia auction, scheduled for May 5th.

The photo bears an inscription on the back by the then 15-year-old Norma Jeane, dedicating it to a classmate of hers named George, a friend she describes as a ‘super swell fellow’.

On the back of the 24-inch print she wrote: ‘To “Georgie”. A super, swell fellow, in fact really keen! (I really mean it Geo.) Norma Jeane Baker.’

Also featured in next month’s auction are a group of photos taken by Marvin Scott at the 1955 charity circus in Madison Square Garden, where Marilyn rode a pink elephant; a copy of Anita Loos’s novel, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, inscribed ‘to Linda’ by Marilyn; and photos by Andre de Dienes and George Barris.

Marvin Scott Remembers Marilyn at the Circus

“She was radiant and she was gracious as she stopped repeatedly to the shouts of photographers calling out her name. At one point she turned from the rest of the pack and glanced directly at me. She threw back her head and asked in a faint but friendly voice, ‘Is this all right?’ I couldn’t believe Marilyn Monroe was actually speaking to me. It was one of those ‘pinch’ moments in life.”

Photographer Marvin Scott remembers meeting Marilyn in March 1955, when she rode on a pink elephant at a charity circus in Madison Square Garden.

Scott was still a high school student at the time. Eight photographs from the event will be sold by Bonham’s & Butterfield’s in an entertainment-themed auction on Monday, along with other Monroe memorabilia.

“So many years later, I still think she was like a kitten playing with a spool of wool,” Scott recalls in a short essay, which you can read in full on Scribd. “She was so magnetic. So electrifying.”