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Past Exhibition Marilyn Monroe: Life as a Legend

October 24, 2010–January 23, 2011

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Willy Rizzo, Marilyn Monroe (2), 1962/2005 © Photo by Willy RizzoHomepage credit: Douglas Kirkland, One Night with Marilyn (3) (detail), 1961/2003, © Douglas Kirkland

The Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh, PA is pleased to announce Life as a Legend: Marilyn Monroe, an exhibition that captures the spark, sex appeal and sensation that was Marilyn Monroe through the art of Andy Warhol, Allen Jones, Peter Blake, Richard Avedon, Bert Stern, Henri Cartier-Bresson and many others.

Documenting the iconic life of America’s favorite sex symbol in styles ranging from fashion photography to Pop Art, this exhibition is on view at the Warhol Museum from October 23, 2010 through January 2, 2011.

She came into the world as Norma Jean Baker, but cast off her humble beginnings to become Marilyn Monroe.  Known as much for her classic films such as Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, Bus Stop, Seven Year Itch, Some Like it Hot and How to Marry a Millionaire, as for her celebrity marriages and rumored liaisons, the world’s fascination with Marilyn continues to thrive. For decades, artists have drawn inspiration from Marilyn creating works that comment on the instantly recognizable bombshell figure, platinum hair and dazzling smile: the personification of glamour, Hollywood and sensuality.

A visual voyage of Monroe’s rise to stardom, the exhibition begins with Tom Kelley’s Red Velvet Pose for Playboy and continues with the sensuous bed sheet shots, One Night with Marilyn, Douglas Kirkland photographs.  Life as a Legend depicts recognizable moments in Monroe’s film career, such as the famous subway grate scene with Thomas Ewell in Seven Year Itch by Sam Shaw, as well as the pensive behind-the-scenes shots of the Misfits by Ernst Haas.  Also on display is the once newly rehabilitated, revived and slender Marilyn Here’s to You photos with champagne glass in hand, celebrating her entrée back into Hollywood, during the poignant The Last Sitting by Bert Stern.

The diversity of the exhibition allows the viewer to enjoy and remember all facets of the charismatic Marilyn through the fashion photography and Hollywood moments as well as through images exposing the tender vulnerability of this captivating legend.  In addition to the photographs, artists such as Andy Warhol, Mel Ramos and Antonio de Felipe offer their unique interpretations of Marilyn.

The death of Marilyn Monroe remains a mystery, as does the private woman behind the myth of Marilyn.  “Real beauty and femininity are ageless and can’t be contrived.  Glamour can be manufactured.” – Marilyn Monroe. Life as a Legend: Marilyn Monroe celebrates the many sides of this 1950’s glamour goddess and immortal legend.

Life as a Legend was curated by Artoma, Hamburg, Germany and is toured by International Arts & Artists, Washington, DC. The national tour schedule for Life as a Legend: Marilyn Monroe is as follows: The Women’s Museum: An Institute for the Future, Dallas, TX, September 26, 2006 – October 8, 2006; Boca Raton Museum of Art, FL, December 6, 2006 – April 1, 2007; Dayton Art Institute, Dayton, OH, April 28, 2007 – June 24, 2007; Huntington Museum of Art, Huntington, WV, July 7, 2007 – September 2, 2007; Sioux City Art Center, Sioux City, IA, September 29, 2007 – November 25, 2007; Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, Halifax, NS, Canada, December 15, 2007 – February 17, 2008; Fine Arts Center Colorado Springs, Colorado Springs, CO, May 3, 2008 – June 29, 2008; Chicago Cultural Center, Chicago, IL, July 19, 2008 – September 21, 2008; Saginaw Art Museum, Saginaw, MI, October 9, 2008 – November 9, 2008; Glenbow Museum, Calgary, AB, November 28, 2008 – February 22, 2009; Winnipeg Art Gallery, Winnipeg, MB (March 27, 2009 – June 5, 2009); Museum of Contemporary Art Jacksonville, FL (January 22, 2010 – April 4, 2010); the Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh, PA (October 23, 2010 – January 2, 2011).

International Arts & Artists in Washington, DC, is a non-profit arts service organization dedicated to increasing cross-cultural understanding and exposure to the arts internationally, through exhibitions, programs and services to artists, arts institutions and the public. Visit www.artsandartists.org.

Life as a Legend was curated by Artoma, Hamburg, Germany and toured by International Art & Artists, Washington, DC.
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