Marilyn in the news

Friday, December 31, 2010

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas!

I hope all of you have a wonderful Christmas with family and friends.  Here is a photo I took today of my basset hound, Toby.  Doesn't he look excited that Santa is coming to town :)

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Marilyn Monroe Motorcycle

Donald Powell sent along these incredible photos of his 2003 Triumph America.  And YES that is a photo of his bike at Marilyn's crypt.  Amazing photo!  I'm sure if Marilyn was alive she would love it.

Mad Magazine Issue #26, 1955

I had an email request from Tim for an image from this Magazine.  He wanted to know how Marilyn looked in the parody they published called "The Seven Itchy Years".

Thanks to Lisa for passing this along.  Here are a couple scans from the magazine.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

My Little Marilyn Christmas Tree

Spent the day getting out Christmas ornaments and decorating the tree we cut down yesterday.  Came across a little tree I had and decided to put all my Marilyn ornaments on it.

It was a sad year - for the first time in at least 10 years there is not a Marilyn Monroe ornament available.  I would get one for Christmas each year without fail. Carlton Cards had continued the tradition year after year but this is the first that they have not released a Marilyn.  Not that I have any more room on my tree :)

The Year of the Rabbit: The Playboy Auction

UPDATE:  These photos sold for $20,000 at the Christies Auction.

I came across an unbelievable collection of Earl Moran photos featuring Marilyn in an upcoming Christies auction slated for December 8.  The Earl Moran LOT 69 SALE 2367 features 55 gelatin silver prints which are estimated at $20,000 -30,000.  Would sure love to have them but WOW that is some series money.  Some of these photos are featured in low quality in my new Moran gallery.

Thanks to everyone who has responded to the Moran collectors call.  I particularly like seeing Moran art with the real life Marilyn photo.  Hoping to showcase some of this.  If you have any examples send them to MARILYNFAN AT GMAIL.

In particular, I am looking for high quality scans of the following photos, if you can help, let me know.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Flowers for Marilyn

I am a big fan of the group that runs Immortal Marilyn and I wanted to pass along this information about a great thing they do for fans and Marilyn every year.

These folks make sure that Marilyn has a beautiful bouquet of flowers at her crypt from her fans on special occasions.  Not only are the flowers gorgeous but if you donate you can send along your message to Marilyn.  They put them all on a card that is delivered to the crypt.  You can look at photos of the flowers from over the years at

If you would like to participate here are all the details from my friend Mary Sims of Immortal Marilyn...

Subject: Holiday Flowers for Marilyn and Gift for Animal Haven
Hi Everyone,
Happy Holidays!
It is that time of year again with the holidays upon us. As always, Immortal Marilyn will be holding our annual Christmas fund raiser. A beautiful holiday arrangement will be placed at Marilyn's crypt from her fans, along with a card by our lovely Carla Orlandi-Smith.
We will set aside $175.00 for this, and anything above and beyond that raised will be donated to Animal Haven of NYC in Marilyn's honor.
So far in 2010 we have raised for Animal Haven, $616.00. That's already exceeded the $405.00 raised in 2009 by more than $200! A huge thank you to all who contributed! Let's see how much more we can make that total with the last fund raiser of the year!

Immortal Marilyn's PayPal ID is if you want to donate that route. If you wish to donate via snail mail, email me at for the address.
Along with your donation you can include a short sentiment to be included with your name on the Christmas card if you wish.

Also check out Animal Haven to have a look at IM's favorite charity, a wonderful highly rated no-kill shelter located in New York, the city Marilyn loved so. Donations are given four times a year, Valentine's Day, June 1 (Marilyn's birthday), August 5th (the anniversary of Marilyn's passing), and December, for the Holidays.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Earl Moran Collectors Wanted

I have added a new Earl Moran gallery to the website with some photos I have never seen before.  I'm adding another page that focuses on Moran collectibles.  In particular, the Maids of Baltimore calendars and the Girls of '53 calendar.

I am looking for someone who has a copy of the Moran Girl's of '53 - 12 month calendar that featured several months of Marilyn's illustrations.  If you have this calendar and are willing to share scans of all months and cover, please contact me.


Saturday, November 27, 2010

New Franklin Mint Doll - Seven Year Itch

Wow!  I think the Franklin Mint made a great choice of outfit on their new vinyl Marilyn Monroe doll. There isn't another doll that has been released with it.  Click on the doll photo below for more information or to order (they only ship within USA) - I get a small commission so please use this link if you plan to buy her.  The rest of us will have to wait for Ebay.

UPDATE:  I ordered her!  Got a great deal back on cyber monday - 25% off and free shipping.  I found a friend in the US to ship to who is able to bring it to me.

She needs to have the cigarette holder to be perfect. I had sworn off purchasing any new dolls but I don't think I can resist.

Life as a Legend: Marilyn Monroe coming to Ontario!

Marilyn with Mountie
The wonderful Marilyn Monroe art exhibit Life as a Legend is coming to the McMichael Canadian Art Museum in Kleinburg, Ontario, Canada.  The exhibit will feature a special Marilyn in Canada section.  I am so excited to be able to see this in person.  The exhibit runs February 19 - May 15, 2011.
I have offered to lend them items from my collection so we'll see if they take me up on the offer.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Marilyn Monroe Canvas Shoes

Just came across these and I thought they were pretty cute.  You can get them through Bradford Exchange by clicking on the photo below (only US shipping - boo!).  If anyone gets a pair be sure to share a photo of them.  I'm curious whether they look this nice in person.

Marilyn Monroe Women's Shoes

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Candle in the Wind on The X Factor

Thanks to Lorraine for sending along this great version of Elton John's "Candle in the Wind".  Luckily, Rebecca Ferguson (finalist on the British TV show X Factor) went with the original Marilyn Monroe version.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Marilyn Quote on Criminal Minds

In last night's episode, Penelope Garcia, the quirky computer hacker went back to being blonde.  I am a big fan of this show and Garcia has always been my favourite character.  The episode is called "Reflection of Desire".  The episodes always start with someone reading a quote.  This time the voice-over was Garcia and she read the following....

"Fame will go by and, so long, I've had you, fame. If it goes by, I've always known it was fickle. So at least it's something I experience, but that's not where I live." -- Marilyn Monroe

I knew it was a Marilyn quote after 4 words and which caused my husband to role his eyes :)

Here is a promo for the episode which had a 50s Hollywood feel.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Marilyn Monroe's Stuffing Recipe

Thanks to Jesica for sending this great New York Times story.  The authors re-created a hand-written stuffing recipe that appears in the new Marilyn book Fragments.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Memories of Marilyn from 1955

I came across this great article by Robert Stein (who was a friend of Sam Shaw) where he described what it was like meeting Marilyn when she was photographed by Ed Feingersh in 1955.  I have always loved Feingersh's photos of Marilyn during this time so it was a real treat to hear this inside story....

“Do You Want to See Her?”

An ambitious young magazine editor and a tormented photographer together discovered a Marilyn Monroe nobody knew

By Robert Stein

The photographer, Ed Feingersh, at a fitting.
The photographer, Ed Feingersh, at a fitting.
One afternoon in 1955 I was staring into a glass of scotch at the Gladstone Hotel in Manhattan. I had downed several, but they failed to subdue my panic. I was jammed up, and my only hope, sitting across the table and smiling serenely, was my friend Sam Shaw.
As a young editor at Redbook I had been praised and promoted, which led me to overreach so far that my job was now hanging by the thinnest thread—Sam’s connection to Marilyn Monroe.
After leaving Hollywood to study at the Actors Studio, Marilyn retreated from the spotlight. For the first time in her flashbulb life she was dodging photographers and reporters.
After two dozen movies, a headline marriage, and a headline divorce, she was in New York to prepare for parts like Grushenka in The Brothers Karamazov. The papers dug out all the clich├ęs about comedians who want to play Hamlet, underlining their ridicule with photos from The Seven Year Itch, Marilyn on the subway grate, an updraft billowing the white dress over her hips. She avoided the press almost entirely, and that made her even more desirable. A hard-to-get Marilyn was news.
My crisis began when I did something way out of character. I saw an ill-lit print of her in an Actors Studio class, covered by a camel’s hair coat and no makeup. A line flashed through my head: the marilyn monroe you’ve never seen, and with no hesitation I persuaded my boss to engrave it on the July cover, which went to press 10 days before the rest of the magazine. I was jumping out of a plane without knowing if the parachute would open.
As I took the plunge, I knew who would be with me—my best friend, the photographer Ed Feingersh, who knew all about parachuting. Some of his daring must have rubbed off on me, and we sat in Costello’s saloon planning our assault on Fortress Marilyn.
Three days later we had nothing. It dawned on me that while he was a daredevil, Eddie had no gifts as a stalker. The first afternoon he waited for hours in the lobby of Marilyn’s hotel, took a minute to make a phone call, and returned to find some kids waving the little Kodak Brownies that were the ubiquitous inexpensive camera of the day: “She posed for us!”
With blank pages looming in the July issue, I called Sam, a photographer who wanted to be a movie producer and had worked hard at friendships with Hollywood’s rising generation, among them Elia Kazan, Marlon Brando, and Marilyn. Sam and I had once shared an office, and he agreed to help.
At the Gladstone, Sam had called Marilyn on the house phone. As usual she was running late. We were nursing our drinks when a tall, tanned man looked into the room and headed for the table.
“Sam, how are you?” said Joe DiMaggio, sitting down. “Marilyn told me you were here.”
A few months earlier, avoiding reporters as usual, DiMaggio had been seen leaving divorce court in obvious sorrow and anger. Now here he was, fresh from his former wife’s room, talking, almost babbling about her with a schoolboy smile on his face, telling Sam how happy he was that she was away from “that movie crowd.” Moreover, the notoriously jealous DiMaggio was pressing him to see more of Marilyn. “She wants you to take her antiquing again,” he said, getting up to leave. He gave me a quick nod and smile.
A few minutes later Sam put me on the house phone, and in that familiar breathy voice, Marilyn agreed to do the picture story, suggesting we meet for a drink the next afternoon.
“Why,” Marilyn asked soon after we sat down, “do they print things about me that aren’t true?”
It was not a rhetorical question or a complaint. We were in a cocktail lounge, and she was looking at me over her Scotch Mist with a puzzled expression, waiting for an answer. Up close, her face was pale and fragile, with no Technicolor glow, and her eyes had none of the confidence that radiated from the screen.
Within minutes it was clear she had no small talk, no social defenses. Sam had told me, if you ask, “How are you?,” she will stop to think instead of coming back with an automatic “Fine.” And when she asked a question, she waited for an answer.
“Why do they make up stuff?” she persisted.
I took the plunge. “Because pictures of you sell papers and magazines, and when there’s no excuse for running them, they’ll print rumors and gossip, anything they can get.” Something pushed me to go further: “They don’t mean to hurt you, just use you.”
She looked at me with a flinching smile that said she knew all about being used. It set off a flash-back in my mind: Mike Cowles, the publisher of Look, telling of a visit to Twentieth Century–Fox in the late 1940s, when a studio head remarked, “We have a new girl on the lot with something unusual. Instead of sticking straight out, her tits tilt up.” He sent for Marilyn, who came in smiling, and he lifted her sweater to show what he meant. She never stopped smiling.
We talked about Sam for a while, and then Marilyn said, “There’s another reason I’m doing this: Your magazine never made fun of me.” Her eyes brightened. “Even gave me an award.”
I felt accepted and at the same time burdened with her trust. The most famously sexual woman in the world was being childlike and vulnerable but also using her openness to get what she wanted for a few days: my loyalty. All her life that mixture of innocence and guile had apparently drawn protectors and betrayers, many of them the same people.
It was not long before one popped up. The next day I got a call from Milton Greene, a mediocre photographer and world-class hustler who had persuaded her to form a partnership with him called Marilyn Monroe Productions. We can do the story, he said, but only with a photographer on his payroll. I told him to get lost, and when Eddie and I met Marilyn the next day, I related the shakedown attempt. She frowned, and we started on our story. (It took her a while to get the full picture, but eventually she fired Greene for mismanagement.)
I told Marilyn we wanted to show her as she really was: no poses, no blowing kisses to the camera, no studio setups, just a straight look at her life.
In the heyday of 35mm cameras and available light, Eddie worshiped Henri Cartier-Bresson, whose pictures were being shown not only in magazines but in museums. His idol would not allow prints to be cropped, and neither would Eddie. The “decisive moment” was framed in the photographer’s eye, and to change a picture later would be like taking slices off a Renoir or van Gogh. At a time when Italian and French films were showing up Hollywood fluff, Eddie and others were transforming traditional frozen magazine pictures with on-the-fly realism. The world was going grainy.
Alone among them, Eddie wanted to go beyond witnessing an event with the camera, to enter it and show how it looked from the inside—risking himself for moments nobody had ever seen. He took pictures while crawling with patrols in Korea, lashed to the periscope of a diving submarine, jumping from a plane with paratroops. Back home, on a racetrack with Irish Horan’s Lucky Hell Drivers, he crouched, elbows hugging his body, between boards tented at a 45-degree angle while speeding cars careened by so close he could see the ply marks on their tires.
Short, thin, and stooped, with a face far from handsome, Eddie was magnetic for everyone who knew him. He was as passionate about friendship as work. He was an artist at both.
He lived in the now, letting moments take him wherever they would. Costello’s was more home than hangout. He must have had an apartment or room somewhere, but in all our years as close friends, I never saw it. He got his mail and phone messages at Costello’s and spent every evening in town at the bar, as people he knew came and went, moving a few feet to a table for food and later, if the mood was right, slipping coins into the pay phone to ask some young woman to call her friends while a few of us brought over a bottle to drink and flirt away the night. His energy was unending. He would spend hours talking excitedly, gesturing, scrawling his version of Thurber dogs on napkins, getting up to pace around, crouched like Groucho in a serpentine glide. Life with him was never at a standstill.
Tracking Marilyn, Eddie’s camera was telling more than we knew at the time. The public Marilyn was keeping appointments—fittings for her costume to ride a pink elephant at a charity premiere of the circus, meetings with lawyers and agents (Twentieth Century–Fox had suspended her for decamping), a grand entrance in white furs at the opening night of Tennessee Williams’s new play Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. Before going out, she put on a performance with the stopper from a bottle of Chanel No. 5, stroking her skin in sensuous delight.
But between moments of being seen, there was another Marilyn, suddenly drained of energy, like the air being let out of a balloon. She sat in a darkening hotel room with drink in hand and went out on the terrace to stare unseeing at the Manhattan skyline. Eddie’s shutter kept clicking, and rolls of 35mm film filled up with images of the marilyn monroe you’ve never seen: withdrawn and alone. He never asked her to pose. She hardly knew he was there.
Marilyn had never been in a subway. Wrapped in the camel’s hair coat, her famous hair subdued, she walked to the Grand Central stop of the IRT and down to the platform. Nobody recognized her. Eddie’s camera kept clicking while she stood straphanging on the uptown local. No heads turned.
Back up on the street, Marilyn looked around with a teasing smile. “Do you want to see her?” she asked, then took off the coat, fluffed up her hair, and arched her back in a pose. In an instant she was engulfed, and it took several shoving, scary minutes to rewrap her and push clear of the growing crowd.
The two Marilyns kept fading in and out. At the costume fitting she arrived as the Star, commanding a swarm of tailors, seamstresses, and hangers-on until the Other abruptly emerged and burst into tears of frustration over some detail of the garment. Eddie’s camera got it all, showing her rising tension against a visual jangle of wire hangers in the background. He framed the scene in the fragmented hall-of-mirrors unreality Orson Welles had created around Rita Hayworth for the finale of The Lady From Shanghai.
Late one afternoon Marilyn asked what we did at the end of the day, and we took her to Costello’s. By then John McNulty had been writing about the place in The New Yorker for years, but the proprietor, Tim Costello, managed to keep it from changing. A stern look over his teacup at the back table was more effective than the rules committee of any private club. Costello’s never went trendy in the way a cabdriver once said of another saloon, “Nobody goes there anymore. It’s too crowded.”
Behind the long bar was a blackthorn walking stick that had been broken over John O’Hara’s head by Ernest Hemingway, no one remembered why. On the facing wall were huge drawings on beaverboard by James Thurber, so valued by Tim that he had had them inked over, varnished, and, when he was forced to move his establishment next door, carefully removed and remounted. The panels were brown with age and tobacco smoke.
Thurber had filled the walls with images of cowardly canines (a dog being chased by rabbits) and little men menaced by huge women (“I’m leaving you, Myra, you might as well get used to the idea,” says one in the clutch of an Amazon several times his size). Such self-mocking masculinity suited the place. Tim did not abide noisy, pugnacious drunks.
Marilyn was wearing a black sleeveless blouse and striped slacks. She sat next to the Thurber drawings at a table across from the bar.
Tim, usually wary of strangers, was clearly intrigued by the blaze of blonde hair at our table and, in a rare gesture, came over to take the orders himself.
“A screwdriver please,” Marilyn said.
Tim was expressionless.
“Vodka and orange juice,” she added.
Tim kept looking at her. “We don’t serve breakfast here,” he said.
“O.K.,” Marilyn said agreeably, “vodka on the rocks.”
Tim gave the order to his brother Joe at the bar and went back to reading his paper. Later, as Eddie was heading to the men’s room, Tim stopped him.
“Who is she?”
Eddie smiled. “Marilyn Monroe.”
Tim’s face darkened. “I ask a civil question and you get smart.”
Eddie smiled again and Tim went back to his paper.
In the hour there no one else gave Marilyn more than a quick look. As she was leaving, a photographer at the bar tapped Eddie on the arm. “If you come back later,” he stage-whispered, “bring your little friend.”
The pictures in Redbook, with my text and captions, showed an unfamiliar, vulnerable Marilyn in soft shades of black and gray. The opening spread contrasted her solitary sadness with a long shot of 200 photographers almost trampling the elephant she was riding at the circus.
In their days together, despite the disparity in looks, I could see Eddie and Marilyn were much alike. They both were somehow more directly connected to life than the rest of us, and more vulnerable. Like Marilyn, Eddie was given to self-parody to mask the pain of being defenseless against daily living and, like her, desperate to make full use of the gifts such an open nature provides.
Just as Marilyn dreaded looking less than perfect in front of the cameras and was always late, so Eddie obsessed over what he did behind the camera and would let no one else develop or print his pictures.
Each held on to an ideal of Art as if it were life itself, and, as it turned out for both of them, it was. Marilyn’s movies and Eddie’s pictures made those who saw them feel more alive but at the same time fear for their safety, sensing the price that would have to be paid for their luminous openness.
Before the year was out, the Third Avenue el in front of Costello’s was torn down, removing the pillars Tim’s regulars would use to steady themselves while hailing cabs in the morning hours.
Marilyn’s stay in New York led to her marriage to Arthur Miller and an attempt to become a conventional wife and mother in Connecticut while making a few movies that showed acting ability as well as amplitude of flesh and spirit.
Eddie got married, too, and then he was in the crisis of his life.
The Cliff was a bar on Twenty-third Street. Eddie used his last dime for the phone call, and I went down to keep him from going over the edge.
It had started to go bad a couple of years after the Marilyn story. After my wedding we saw each other less, and so it came as a surprise when he told me he was getting married. She was a blank beauty with high cheekbones and an impervious air who drifted through our times together in a detachment that seemingly spurred Eddie to pour all the energy he used to put into finding the perfect picture into solving her mystery.
At their wedding I was behind the camera, looking at incongruous images of a picture-book bride in white alongside Eddie’s dark suit and sheepish smile, some part of him seeing it all in helpless bemusement. The marriage lasted a few months, during which he gradually worked less and less, then finally stopped altogether before his bride floated out of his life, leaving behind only her enigmatic stare.
After he called that evening, we sat for hours, trying to figure out what he could do, now that he was too paralyzed to do the one thing in life he was meant to do. Finally, I suggested an answer: “Come work for me. I need a picture editor.”
I was the editor of Redbook by then, and the idea made sense. If Eddie could no longer take pictures, he could imagine them, match photographers to subjects, and help them do good work until he could start doing his own again.
For a few months it went well. Once in a while, when he was excited about an assignment, I would say without looking at him, “Of course, you’d be perfect for it,” or, “It’s your kind of story.” Each time he would freeze for a moment before his eyes went blank and he shook his head.
He cut down on his drinking, but the depression got worse. Gradually he came into the office less and less and finally not at all. Then came a phone call from a woman who had been in love with him for years. He had arrived at her door the evening before and died in his sleep during the night.
Over the years I had urged Eddie to try a psychiatrist, but my pleading could not break through his certainty that suffering was inseparable from his gift, that he could not escape one without losing the other. In today’s world he—and Marilyn, for that matter —might have been kept going by medication, but back then there was no such lifeline.
Ever since, those who loved Eddie’s work have tried to get museums to give him the recognition he deserves. But it has been no easier to help him in death than it was during his life. Almost all his prints and negatives, so closely held, scattered and disappeared, magnificent pictures lost forever.
Yet something of him remains alive, linked forever with that other lost soul. On Web sites, in many languages, people are selling prints of a few of those pictures Eddie took of Marilyn that week in 1955. The negatives were found in a warehouse three decades after his death.
Marilyn has inspired rescue fantasies in legions of writers, among them Norman Mailer and Gloria Steinem. Toward the end of his life Arthur Miller looked back and saw himself that way. “I spent five years trying to keep her from falling off the cliff,” he told an interviewer in 2004 while justifying After the Fall, the nasty piece of self-pity he wrote soon after her death.
As Eddie’s would-be savior, I am left with no such soothing consolation, only an abiding sense of loss.
Robert Stein, a former chairman of the American Society of Magazine Editors, is the author of Media Power: Who’s Shaping Your Picture of the World? just reissued in paperback by iUniverse.

2 Marilyn Tattoos Added

Thanks to Rick and Lauren for sending in their great tattoos.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Life as a Legend Exhibit at Warhol Museum

If anyone is in the Pittsburg area be sure to check out the Life as a Legend exhibit at the Warhol Museum.  This is the traveling art exhibit that features works of art inspired by Marilyn and vintage photographs of her.  It runs from Oct 23, 2010 - Jan 2, 2010.

The Museum is also showing 7 of her films!!!

November 12 - Don't Bother to Knock and Niagara

November 19 - River of No Return

December 3 - How to Marry a Millionaire and Gentlemen Prefer Blondes

December 10 - Some Like it Hot

December 17 - The Misfits

They are having a 24 hour opening celebration starting October 23 - DJ playing Marilyn songs, film trivia and look alike contest included.

For more info

Sunday, October 17, 2010

My Marilyn Podcast Episode #59

Yeah, I know.  Hard to believe that I recorded a new show :)
  • Voice mail from Casey and Dan
  • Fragments
  • Warhol Museum hosting Life as a Legend
  • My Week with Marilyn Rant
  • My Wedding

Instead of subscribing you can download the episode directly at MP3 

For more information about the podcast CLICK HERE

Feel free to leave comments about the episode below.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Marilyn Jack-O-Lantern

It is that time of year again.....when the ghosts and goblins run the streets.  For those thinking about trying a Marilyn pumpkin this year, I have included some designs you can follow below.  Or even better try making up your own!

Pernille Pejda from Denmark sent me a photo of her pumpkin.  Great job!

Here are some designs you can print out and use.  If anyone else does a Marilyn pumpkin - feel free to send me a photo of it to post here.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Artistic prodigy inspired by Marilyn

I was absolutely floored when I saw the "Barbie Marilyn" painting by this amazing young girl.  Just had to share this story...

When Autumn de Forest was 4 years old, she brought home an art project from preschool: a watercolor she called “Elephant.” Her depiction of the animal was abstract, with pronounced brushstrokes that her parents found very deliberate and startlingly artistic.

Over the next several months, Autumn created more art, much of it remarkable, and all of it suggesting a strange and precocious talent for shapes, colors and patterns. “At first we did think it was a fluke,” said Autumn’s mother, Katherine, who appeared on TODAY Thursday with her daughter.
“We were scratching our head and thought it was an anomaly and interesting,” she told Matt Lauer.
Still, she carefully preserved her daughter’s work because “I just thought it would be really fun for her to have these paintings when she grew up — not to put art on our walls.”
The masterpiece moment came about a year later at the family’s Las Vegas home, when Autumn was 5. One day she walked into the garage where her father was working and asked if she could paint something for fun. He gave her a paintbrush — the kind for painting houses —some stain and a piece of plywood.
“I turned away,” said Doug de Forest, “and what seemed like a few moments later I turned back, and I swear to you it was as if [abstract expressionist painter] Mark Rothko had done some kind of mid-century masterpiece. Certainly it was simple and abstract, but profound in its simplicity. It was just kind of a wonderful moment.”
Wider canvases
“Elephant,” it turned out, was not a fluke. Autumn’s parents bought her museum-quality paints and canvases “to see what would happen,” Doug said, “and in very short order a prolific kind of blossoming happened, and the canvases started getting bigger and bigger.”
In fact, Autumn’s canvases are now so large — typically 4 by 6 feet — that she has to paint them on the floor. Doug built her a sort of wooden bridge so she can sit on it and paint the middle of the canvas. (Autumn is slightly taller than 4-foot-2 and weighs slightly less than 50 pounds.)
“I do it every day,” Autumn said about painting. “I try to do as much as I can ... I do my best.”
In about one year’s time, Autumn de Forest, who turns 9 this month, has become one of the art world’s youngest and biggest stars. Prolific and versatile, she has produced a range of work representing multiple styles: abstract impressionism, surrealism and pop art. Her paintings bring to mind the work of masters like Picasso, Warhol, Dali and Matisse.
And it sells.
This year, Autumn has sold dozens of her paintings at auction for a total of about $250,000. The highest price paid for her work is $25,000, for the painting “People Are Strange,” inspired by The Doors song of the same name.
The next auction for Autumn’s work will be held online Oct. 14. The de Forest family hired art promoter Ben Valenty to handle sales of Autumn’s art.
Valenty, based in Orange County, Calif., has acted as an agent for several other child painters such as the Romanian-born prodigy Alexandra Nechita (whom he met 15 years ago), and is largely responsible for creating the market for child artists in the art world. His relationships with some of his clients have been contentious — a few have sued him over earnings — but the de Forests trust him.

“I was skeptical at first,” Doug said, “but he does exactly what he says he is going to do.” And so far, Valenty’s efforts have resulted in financial rewards that would be the envy of any artist — let alone one whose work was not seen in public until spring 2009.
No lessons.

Autumn has never taken formal instruction, although her parents believe she would benefit from it and would like her to start. So far, her work is the result of pure intuition, imagination and inspiration. She painted “The Messenger,” depicting a fetus attached to its umbilical cord, after going to an exhibition with her mother at age 5 and becoming fascinated with a display of a pregnant woman.
Neither of her parents is a visual artist; Doug is a musician, Katherine an actress. There are, however, several accomplished and collected painters in Doug’s family: Lockwood de Forest (1850-1932), George de Forest (1855-1941) and Roy de Forest (1930-2007), who was part of California’s “funk art” movement.
“We’re not claiming what Autumn has done is due to some mind-blowing talent,” Doug said. “It’s an issue of access or exposure. If you put 5-year-olds in front of an 80-piece orchestra and put a baton in their hands and exposed them to that to their heart’s content, by the time they were 10, you might have a prodigy. That is a question we discuss on a daily basis. It’s a question that transcends Autumn.”
Pets, dolls and old TV
Away from paint and canvas, Autumn seems a very typical child. She is outgoing, talkative and patient, drawing in a sketchbook while her parents gave a long interview. She drew “a jet, a cat, a train, a Haiti person looking at me … I drew swans and I also drew a little boat.”
Like most girls her age, she loves animals — especially her poodle, Ginger (“Her fur is just like ginger,” she says) — and her Barbie dolls. They were part of the inspiration for her painting “Barbie Marilyn,” which sold for about $15,000 at auction. The other inspiration was artist Andy Warhol.
“He did a Marilyn Monroe,” Autumn told Matt Lauer. “Maybe it wasn’t a Barbie, but it was Marilyn Monroe. The real reason why I think he painted her is because at that time she was the best example of a sexy one.”
She has an unusual penchant for old TV shows (“I Love Lucy”), old movies (“High Society”) and old music (Frank Sinatra).
She attends third grade — “I can’t wait for school to end because I want to paint,” she said — and loves science and reading. One of her favorite authors is Judy Blume. She said she is “not a real Harry Potter girl.” Instead she says she reads a lot of “girl books” and the Bible.
“I’m not an artsy-fartsy girl when I’m at school,” Autumn said. “I talk about regular girl stuff, what’s happening at school, who is whose friend. At recess, I’m a matchmaker. Let’s say a girl and girl start off friends and three weeks later they break up for some reason. I get them both together and I try to explain people’s problems with each other, and I try to ask them, ‘Can you try to work on them and make that part better?’ ”
But Autumn is also aware of what sets her apart. She knows grown-ups are paying large amounts of money for her paintings, which the family is saving for college. “I love my paintings, but I’m not the bragger of my paintings,” she said. “If someone is going to pay a huge amount of money to buy my painting and if they know I’m going to spend it to buy a bunch of Barbie dolls, they know you’re going to waste your money on something not important. But people know the money is going into my education, maybe even art school.”
Doug, 46, and Katherine, 50, have been tempered against the criticism they sometimes read on the Internet, some of it posted as comments on stories about Autumn. Some of the criticism questions her parents’ intentions; some of it devalues the quality or integrity of her art.
“If I ever see harm coming to her either from herself or the outside world,” Katherine said, “I would pull her back. Right now it’s one day at a time.
“There’s no question if you wanted to criticize her work you can tear it up one side and down the other. We are not trying to prove she is a genius or a prodigy. She’s a little girl who is exploring and experimenting, who has a lot to learn and a lot to give, and either you like it or you don’t. It is an incredible package, but it’s not perfect.”
-Courtesy of MSNBC

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving Canada!

Just wishing my fellow Canadians a wonderful holiday weekend.  May you have lots to be thankful for and I hope you have a great time with your families.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Marilyn on Cover of Vanity Fair

We can look forward to a beautiful cover of Marilyn on the November issue of Vanity Fair.  The story focuses on the upcoming book Fragments which showcases personal papers, poems, diaries, etc that were left to Marilyn's estate.

You can read the article HERE .

This is a very exciting time for Marilyn fans with so many highly anticipated books coming out.  I am personally dying to get a copy of Fragments: Poems, Intimate Notes, Letters by Marilyn Monroe. Apparently, not only does it give you the actual document in Marilyn's handwriting but then it also translates it all into readable text.

You can purchase your copy of this book through amazon below.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

3 Tattoos Added

Thanks to Kristin, Brianna and Lisa for sending in their wonderful Marilyn tattoos to be displayed on the site HERE.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Dearly Departed - Tony Curtis

Tony Curtis (L) in one of his most famous films, Some Like It Hot.At least now, Marilyn's memory can rest in peace and Mr. Curtis can't continue to make up more ridiculous lies about her and their "relationship".  
Marilyn could not stand him and I trust her judgement :)

Courtesy of CNN - Screen legend Tony Curtis died Wednesday, his family said. He was 85.
"My father leaves behind a legacy of great performances in movies and in his paintings and assemblages," actress Jamie Lee Curtis said in a statement Thursday. "He leaves behind children and their families who loved him and respected him and a wife and in-laws who were devoted to him. He also leaves behind fans all over the world. He will be greatly missed."
Curtis starred in more than 150 motion pictures and was nominated for an Oscar for his performance in 1958's "The Defiant Ones" with Sidney Poitier.
Curtis also is known for his roles in the 1959 movie "Some Like it Hot" with Marilyn Monroe and Jack Lemmon and "Spartacus" in 1960 with Kirk Douglas. He also played the lead role in "The Boston Strangler," released in 1968.
Curtis recalled last year how he landed the plum role in "Some Like it Hot", his most memorable part.
"I got in it because (director) Billy Wilder ... said at that time, 'I want the handsomest kid in town,' and they picked me," Curtis told CNN iReporter Chris Morrow. "Well, that was a great compliment."
Curtis also recalled what it was like starring with Monroe, whom he said he dated for about four months in 1949 or 1950.
"We had a wonderful time together," he said. "We were both very young and hoping to get in the movies."
Born in New York City in 1925 as Bernard Schwartz, Curtis grew up poor in the Bronx as his family struggled through the Great Depression. He took the name Tony Curtis in the late 1940s, when he started his film career.
He was married six times, most notably to film star Janet Leigh.
With his long eyelashes, lustrous shock of wavy black hair and New York accent, Curtis cut a colorful swath through the Hollywood of the 1950s and '60s, marrying three times in two decades and appearing in more than 60 films and TV programs.
He starred opposite Leigh, his first wife, in 1953's "Houdini," playing the title role of magician Harry Houdini. Other major roles soon followed, including "Trapeze" in 1956 and "The Sweet Smell of Success" in 1957.
"Tony even made it seem natural for a Norseman to have a New York accent in The Vikings (1958)," said his official biography. "But it was in 1958 when Curtis and Sidney Poitier starred in Stanley Kramer's social drama The Defiant Ones (1959) which earned both men Academy Award nominations and was among the most acclaimed and profitable films of the year."
Another huge hit came in 1959, playing opposite Cary Grant in "Operation Petticoat."
Curtis once said that his biggest regret was not winning an Oscar, but other awards found their way to him.
He received a lifetime achievement award from the Italian Oscars in May 1996, his website says, and in March 1995 was honored with the Chevalier de L'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres for his work in films and his original art works. Curtis also was honored by the USA Film Festival and the Palm Springs International Film Festival.
The actor worked with some of film's biggest directors, including Blake Edwards, Stanley Kubrick, Elia Kazan, Vincente Minnelli and Nicolas Roeg.
Curtis served in the Navy during World War II and, upon his release, used the GI educational program to study drama, his biography said.
"He first gained attention in a Greenwich Village stage production of 'Golden Boy,' and was quickly offered a contract by Universal Pictures." the bio says.
"His screen debut had him dancing with Yvonne de Carlo in 'Criss Cross.' His few seconds on screen were enough to generate thousands of fan letters to the handsome young man. Universal had the fastest rising star in Hollywood and one of the most enduring prolific actors of modern times."
Curtis led a turbulent life off-screen, divorcing five times. Of the six children he had with three wives, a son died in 1994 from a reported heroin overdose.
Curtis admitted he battled drugs and alcohol abuse during the 1970s and 1980s and sought treatment at the famous Betty Ford Center in 1984.
In later years, Curtis began painting and was known particularly for his portraits.
But it was for his long and varied movie career and his larger-than-life personality that Curtis will be remembered.
"It's a sad day for the entertainment world," family attorney Eli Blumenfield said. "Tony was one of few remaining Hollywood icons. He led a good life, fathered six wonderful children and he was always proud of them. He will be sorely missed."