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Published by: Bella on Apr 21, 2009
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Marilyn Monroe

Life as a Legend

September 29 – November 25, 2007

Marilyn Monroe
Life as a Legend

Curated by Artoma, Hamburg, Germany Tour by International Arts & Artists, Washington DC.

Marilyn Monroe was born Norma Jeane Mortenson in the charity ward of the Los Angeles County Hospital on June 1, 1926; she died in her home on August 5, 1962. She was “discovered” by a photographer while she worked in an airplane factory during World War II, and shortly after she signed with the Blue Book modeling agency, she cut, straightened, and lightened her hair to her signature golden blonde color and adopted her stage name, “Marilyn Monroe.” This traveling exhibition is the fifth in the Art Center’s Blockbuster exhibition series. It combines the most well-known images of the film star by a wide variety of photographers— including Sam Shaw, Richard Avedon, Milton Green and Henri Cartier-Bresson—with artwork that confronts her iconic status by national and international artists—including American artists Andy Warhol, Robert Indiana, Richard Avedon, Mel Ramos, Tom Wesselmann, and Richard Lindner. Marilyn Monroe has fascinated artists for half a century. This exhibition is in celebration of what would be Marilyn’s 80th birthday; it is an anniversary that makes us aware how difficult it is to imagine her as an old woman, instead of the forever-young icon we all know. The myth of Marilyn Monroe depends on the power of the image she projected. As she noted to an interviewer in 1960s, “I’m an artificial product.” No less than the artists who have appropriated her image, Marilyn Monroe herself was an invention of the Hollywood studios. The duplicity between the woman herself, Norma Jean Mortenson, and the cultural icon, Marilyn Monroe, is the subject and focus of this exhibition. The differences between one and the other are visible in the combination of photographs that reveal her human face, and the artworks that address her iconic status.


1. Volker Hildebrandt Monroe Mint, 2002. © Volker Hildebrandt. 2. Bert Stern Here’s to You from the Last Sitting, 1962. © Bert Stern 1982. 3. Douglas Kirkland One Night with Marilyn, 1961. © by Douglas Kirkland. 4. Bernard of Hollywood Marilyn Collage, 1986. © by Bruno Bernard by kind permission of Susan Bernard. 5. Werner Berges Look, 1973. © Werner Berges. cover: Antonio de Felipe MGM Marilyn Goldwyn Monroe, 2001. © Antonio de Felipe.






Marilyn Monroe: Life as a Legend

September 29 – November 25, 2007



8 BLOCKBUSTER II PARTNERS Founder Avery Brothers Sign Company The Gardner Foundation Sioux City Journal Powell Broadcasting Patron Drs. Alan S. Manalan & Diane K. Werth KTIV - News Channel 4 Sponsor Irving Jr. & Carolyn Jensen Klinger Companies, Inc. Security National Bank Vantus Bank Advocate Eunice Acker & Donnin Custer Richard C. Brown, Jr. M.D. & Aaron Beutler Chesterman Company Mercy Medical Center – Sioux City Rick & Regis Garvey Tegra Corporation Thompson Electric Company

6. Antonio de Felipe En el Jardìn de Hollywood, 2003. © Antonio de Felipe. 7. Milton H. Green Marilyn ‘peasant’ sitting on a curb, 1954. © 1994 Milton H. Greene. 8. Alfre Eisenstaedt Marilyn Monroe playfully elegant at home, 1952. © Alfred Eisenstaedt.

All exhibitions and programs are supported, in part, by a grant from the Iowa Arts Council, a division of the Department of Cultural Affairs, and the National Endowment for the Arts; the Art Center Association of Sioux City; and the City of Sioux City.

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