THE UNSEEN MARILYN
The late actress gets star billing at the Hollywood Museum’s new exhibition.
The Hollywood Museum’s new Marilyn Monroe Missing Moments exhibition is nothing if not comprehensive.
It features the star’s personal accessories, her costumes from such films as 1955’s “The Seven Year Itch,” her refrigerator and even medication found on her nightstand on Aug. 6, 1962, the night of her death.
Donelle Dadigan, the founder and president of the Hollywood Museum, at the old Max Faxtor building on Highland Avenue, said the exhibition spans Monroe’s entire life, from her childhood, through her career, her loves, her marriages, her untimely death at age 36, and her legacy for generations of movie fans.
One highlight of the exhibition, which continues through Sept. 6, are previously unpublished Monroe photos by Milton H. Greene, best known for his mesmerizing portraits of the sex symbol. The two met in 1953 when he shot the up-andcoming actress for Look
The photos include studio portraits and candids of her on the set of 1956’s “Bus Stop” and with such celebrities as Edward R. Murrow and Sammy Davis Jr.
Dadigan acquired some 1,000 never-before-published Greene images of Monroe a few years ago at auction.
“We have the negatives, the transparencies and the copyrights,” said Dadigan, who will be adding more Greene photos as well as Monroe photos shot by other photographers during the exhibition.
The museum, said Dadigan, has an international network of donors. “This time we have five different collections from all around theworld.”
Jill Adams donated collectibles that include Monroe Barbie dolls, drinking glasses, ceramic figurines and even a wine called Marilyn Merlot.
“Her popularity continues to grow over the years,” said Adams. “People want an attachment to her in any way shape or form. I loved her since I was 6 years old. It was because of my grandma. She related to Marilyn— she was of the same time period.” Monroe, who would have been89 this year, “has gotten more popular as the years have passed,” noted Dadigan. “With Marilyn, thereare people who come from around the world for pilgrimages [to Los Angeles] for her birthday and they come for the anniversary of her death.”
Dadigan believes that men were attracted to Monroe’s beauty as well as her vulnerability. “They wanted to rescue her.” Women also loved Monroe, Dadigan adds, because “she had that realness that women could relate to. She had issues, she made mistakes.”
Among the other highlights of the exhibition:
Monroe’s USO and Joe DiMaggio honeymoon dresses.
Jewelry from1953’s “Gentleman Prefer Blondes” and “How to Marry a Millionaire.”
Monroe’s own hot pink Pucci top and black satin jeans.
Her makeup chair and makeup kit.
Photographs fromher childhood.
MARILYN MONROE at a 1950s photo shoot, one of about 1,000 unpublished images by Milton H. Greene.
MEMORABILIA on display in the Hollywood Museum’s Marilyn Monroe exhibit. Other items to see are her personal accessories, costumes and even her fridge.
A PRODUCTION PICTURE of Marilyn Monroe from 1953’s “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes” is on exhibit.