Marilyn Monroe 90th birthday: Rare prints of Hollywood icon go on display

The photographs include Monroe posing with a Pekinese dog and filming The Seven Year Itch in her billowing white dress

Jess Denham
Wednesday 01 June 2016 12:56 BST
Douglas Kirkland's 1961 photograph shows a whimsical Monroe posing in bed
Douglas Kirkland's 1961 photograph shows a whimsical Monroe posing in bed

Rare prints of Hollywood starlet Marilyn Monroe are to feature in a pop-up exhibition celebrating what would have been her 90th birthday.

From photos of the actress when she was still known as Norma Jeane Baker in 1946 to Bert Stern’s striking “Last Sitting” images taken six weeks before her tragic death in 1962, the images in the Happy Birthday Miss Monroe collection span 16 years of Monroe’s all-too-brief life in the spotlight.

Among Stern’s prints are the harrowing ‘crucifix’ shots, taken from negatives that Monroe scrawled a cross through to prevent them being published. When she died from an overdose of barbiturates aged just 36 shortly afterwards, they took on ane eerily prophetic new meaning.

The fifty plus other photographs presented by online gallery ONGallery and the Playboy Club London include Frank Worth’s famous picture of Monroe in her billowing white dress from 1955 film The Seven Year Itch, which sold at auction for a record-breaking $4.6 million in 2011, and Andy Warhol’s iconic pop-art Marilyn portraits.

Monroe is shown holding a Pekinese dog in one fun snap by Milton Greene from 1955, while another by Douglas Kirkland shows her posing in bed in 1961.

Playboy founder Hugh Hefner has signed some of the images, including a nude photo of Monroe as the magazine’s first ‘Sweetheart of the Month’, which helped launch it to global success.

The prints are all available to buy, with prices ranging from £100 to £5,000. The exhibition opens at The Showroom Presents on 2 June and runs until the end of the month.

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