Marilyn Monroe

life and legend

September 20, 2019 – March 01, 2020

Marilyn Monroe (1926 – 1962) is still one of the most photographed women in the world. From the poorest of circumstances, she fought her way through Hollywood Studios from starlet to megastar. She was aware of her charm and handled it more disarmingly than almost any other Hollywood diva. Nevertheless, she managed to convey a fresh and freer image of women to a whole generation of young women. Photographers Barris, Grant, Greene, Kelley, Nygård and Stern captured Marilyn Monroe in her timeless beauty. Her unique blend of sex appeal, vulnerable innocence and comedy makes her irresistible to both men and women.

Marilyn Monroe. Aus der Reihe: The Last Sitting, 1962 © Bert Stern

Marilyn Monroe's life

Just two weeks after her birth, on June 1, 1926, Norma Jeane Baker was given to a foster family. For fifteen years the young girl is passed back and forth between five families and the orphanage. In order to finally escape the orphanage, she agreed at the age of 15 to marry the boy next door, Jim Dougherty, whom she hardly saw because of his military service. In 1946, after just five years, the two divorced. In 1944, at the age of 18, she was discovered by the military photographer David Conover. Just one year later she is a sought-after model. Tom Kelley captures the charms of young Marilyn in 1949, though it is not passed on until 1952 for a highly successful calendar. In 1953, one of the photos even made it into the centerfold of the first Playboy issue. The film industry soon took notice of her. She takes dance and acting classes and adopts her stage name. Her most successful film is “Some Like It Hot”. In late 1954, Marilyn Monroe formed her own production company, Marilyn Monroe Productions Inc, with photographer and longtime friend Milton H. Greene. in NYC. In 1954, Marilyn married baseball star Joe DiMaggio. They divorced after just nine months because DiMaggio couldn’t handle her immense popularity. Her third husband becomes the playwright Arthur Miller, with whom she first experiences stability. However, due to her addiction to pills and alcohol, she breaks up.

Come and explore the fascinating history of this pop culture icon!