Marilyn Monroe: Life as a Legend

Milton H. Greene, Copyright 2009 Joshua Greene.

Bert Stern, Copyright Bert Stern

Almost a half century after her death, Marilyn Monroe’s visage is unmistakable. For decades, artists have been captivated by her, and their continued fascination and response to the created idol of Marilyn Monroe is clear from the many works of art on display in Marilyn Monroe: Life as a Legend

Born Norma Jeane Mortenson Baker on June 1, 1926, to an unwed mother who was committed to a mental institution when Norma Jeane was very young, she spent her childhood shuttled among a series of foster homes and orphanages. An early marriage at 16 ended with a chance “discovery” by a photographer, and the trek to seek fame in Hollywood. Starring roles, the adulation of millions, two more husbands, numerous awards—it all ended with her tragic death at the young age of 36.

This exhibition captures the celebrity and the myth behind one of the most famous women of the 20th century with over 175 works of art. It explores the incredibly diverse array of artistic responses to the Marilyn persona. Captured in these works, spanning the last five decades, is the spark, allure, and sensation that is signature Marilyn Monroe.

Receiving strong reviews wherever it has appeared, this exhibition explores the incredibly diverse array of artistic responses to the Marilyn persona. The list of photographers includes the finest of the day: Richard Avedon, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Bert Stern, Eve Arnold, Bernard of Hollywood, and Douglas Kirkland. An impressive group of paintings, sculptures, and prints carries the names of artists from around the globe such as Andy Warhol, Robert Indiana, Eduardo Paolozzi, Christo, Christian Blau, Erwin Wurm. The exhibition makes clear the broad range of artists who have responded to Marilyn’s life–from the greatest fashion photographers of her day to the champion of the Pop Art movement.

Life as a Legend: Marilyn Monroe has been organized by International Arts & Artists, Washington, D.C., and curated by Artoma, Hamburg, Germany.

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