Photography by Milton H. Greene
To Proud Central for ‘Up Close With Marilyn,’ an exhibition of truly stunning, rare photographs by renowned photographer, Milton H Greene. Shot mainly in the years from 1953-1955, Greene captured Marilyn Monroe in fashion items and poses that showed off all her untouchable glamour, sultry beauty and vulnerable core. The ‘ballerina’ sitting has Marilyn holding on to her tutu as she stares at the camera, as if about to speak. The previously unseen ‘bed’ picture has Marilyn covering herself in white sheets, about to take a sip from an orange metal cup, her face daring the viewer to speak to her. The ‘rock’ sitting is classic Marilyn, in striped sandals, white jacket and pedal pushers, seated in a natural recess, knees up, hands knitted together and parted lips in the pout that promised everything. The other-worldliness of her facial expression adds layers of meaning to the shot. In amongst all of these typical glamour shots, is a candid photograph from ‘Schenk House’ in her striped pedal pushers and a loose blouse, smiling naturally, her cheek leaning on her fist. It shows most honestly, that even without a studio’s practised make up session and exquisite choice of clothes, Marilyn was achingly beautiful and reassuringly real. In an age when the standard of beauty seems to be decided on, periodically, by committee, and actors come and go like the weather, the public’s ongoing love for Norma Jean Baker is a reassuring sign that great acting talent and beauty can, and do, sometimes come together. ‘Up Close With Marilyn’ runs till the 24th June.