Monday, May 14, 2012

Marilyn Monroe - The Last Sitting

Author: Bert Stern, from the collection of Michaela and Leon Constantiner.

Publication Date: 2007

Category: Photography 

Classic line: "Marilyn is known for her moodiness and also for having become extremely whimsical.

Finally she arrives: she comes alone and only five hours late. The sitting can now begin." pg 7.

What's it all about? Photographer Bert Stern proposed a photo shoot of Marilyn Monroe to Vogue in 1962. Both Vogue and Marilyn agreed. Although the results of the shoot were exceptional, they were too racy for Vogue - including Marilyn semi-nude revealing the scars of a gall-bladder operation she had six weeks before the shoot. Vogue requested a second shoot with makeup and more clothes. The results are stunning fashion studies. Marilyn died one day before the layout was published in Vogue, in August 1962.

The book is worth looking at not just for the photographs, but the story of Bert Stern's crush on Marilyn and how his fantasy of her inspired the images. His introductory text from the original Vogue article tells it all: "These are perhaps the only images of the new Marilyn, a Marilyn who revealed the elegance and taste that she instinctually possessed. They testify to  a ravishing maturity that make her abandon her boyish charms, in order to assert herself as as a deeply beautiful, profoundly moving young woman... The fact alone that she was able to resist the incredible, unimaginable pressure of her own legend for so long, proves the enormous soul she had." pt 123.

Publisher: Electa

Visit Newcastle Region Library's Catalogue and Website.

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