Ico­nic pho­to­gra­pher vi­si­ting John Ab­bott Friday

George Zim­bel event open to pu­blic

L'Etoile - - IN OTHER WORDS -

Pho­to­gra­phers and his­to­ry buffs alike will not want to miss a vi­sit to John Ab­bott Col­lege Friday by a Mon­treal-ba­sed pho­to­gra­pher who has pho­to­gra­phed the likes of Ma­ri­lyn Mon­roe, Au­drey Hep­burn, John F. Ken­ne­dy, Dwight Ei­sen­ho­wer, Har­ry S. Tru­man, and more.

George Zim­bel, a U.S.-born pho­to­gra­pher who has li­ved in Mon­treal for more than 40 years, will vi­sit the Ste. Anne de Bel­le­vue cam­pus from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. on Nov. 30th, in or­der to give a pre­sen­ta­tion tit­led: I love words, I love pic­tures…I read them both.

The re­now­ned pho­to­gra­pher will al­so dis­cuss his ne­west book, A Book of Rea­ders, (Les édi­tions du Pas­sage, 2011,) a book fea­tu­ring a col­lec­tion of black and white pho­to­graphs of people rea­ding.

Pho­to­gra­phing Ma­ri­lyn

On his web­site, Zim­bel, al­so a gif­ted sto­ry­tel­ler, writes of the Sept. 11th, 1954 eve­ning when, as a 25-year-old free­lance pho­to­gra­pher, he was among 20 other pho­to­gra­phers ga­the­red at the cor­ner of Lexing­ton Ave. in New York Ci­ty to pho­to­graph Ma­ri­lyn Mon­roe and Tom Ewell as they ac­ted out a scene from the movie The Se­ven Year Itch.

Cal­led ‘one of the most suc­cess­ful pu­bli­ci­ty stunts ever sta­ged,’ the ree­nact­ment in­clu­ded the ico­nic mo­ment when Mon­roe’s fa­mous white dress blew up as she wal­ked across a sub­way air vent.

Like a snap­shot from the past, Zim­bel’s sto­ry is a fas­ci­na­ting first-per­son ac­count: ‘Ewell with his felt hat and bag­gy suit and Ma­ri­lyn in her white dress saun­te­ring down Lexing­ton Ave­nue past the thea­ter mar­quee ad­ver­ti­sing the 3-D movie « Mons­ter from the Deep ». They walk over the gra­ting and her dress starts to rise. It rises ve­ry, ve­ry high and we can’t be­lieve it. Re­mem­ber this is 1954. I am sure a lot of shots were mis­sed first time around, but there were ma­ny more op­por­tu­ni­ties as the scene evol­ved, get­ting just the right height of the dress from the spe­cial ef­fects crew ope­ra­ting the fans.’

For rea­sons he can­not re­call, Zim­bel did not use the images he shot that night un­til a Ja­nua­ry 2000 re­tros­pec­tive in Va­len­cia, Spain. His ne­ga­tives sur­vi­ved a 1966 dar­kroom fire, and his 1971 move to Mon­treal.

Zim­bel’s pho­to­gra­phic col­lec­tions span more than 70 years. Mon­treal-ba­sed Shoot Stu­dio will be on lo­ca­tion to do­cu­ment and film Zim­bel’s ap­pea­rance, which is open to the pu­blic. For ti­ckets or in­for­ma­tion contact John Ab­bott’s In­for­ma­tion and Li­bra­ry Tech­no­lo­gies de­part­ment by email at: ilt@johnab­bott.qc.ca. John Ab­bott Col­lege is lo­ca­ted at 21275 Lakeshore in Ste. Anne de Bel­le­vue. The pre­sen­ta­tion will take place in Pen­field-204.


Ico­nic pho­to­gra­pher George Zim­bel will speak at a pu­blic event Friday at John Ab­bott Col­lege. Zim­bel once pho­to­gra­phed Ma­ri­lyn Mon­roe.

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