Marilyn in the news

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Meeting Marilyn Photographer George Zimbel

I had the honour today of attending a lecture by George Zimbel at the McMichael Canadian Art Collection in Kleinburg, Ontario.  Zimbel's work is on display at the museum as part of the Marilyn in Canada exhibit.  

"In 1954, George Zimbel was among a small group of photographers who documented the famous scene from The Seven Year Itch which captured the iconic image of Marilyn Monroe in her white billowing dress; an early example of his view that photography is the art of spontaneity. This special lecture will position these Marilyn Monroe images within the history of photography and highlight Zimbel’s own artistic practice of non-intervention."

Zimbel is now 81 years old and the talk was also attended by his wife of over 50 years.  He actually proposed and married her shortly after the seven year itch shoot.  Zimbel was one of a number of photographers on the set of the dress blowing scene.  He spent approximately 2 hours on the set, which he admits he was removed from because he continued to take photos after filming began.

He was 25 years old and was there simply to document this moment in history.  He was not on assignment and did nothing with the photos until 20 years later in 1974 when they started appearing in galleries.  When asked why he waited so long it became clear that Marilyn was a blip in his life's work and not something he focused on.  He worked only in black and white and still develops his own photos. He considers himself a documentary photographer where he captures a moment that is happening instead of trying to create a scene.  

During the lecture he walked us through a slideshow of some of his photos from that day.  It was truly amazing as I had never seen some of them before.  In particular he had photos of the stand-ins for Marilyn and Tom Ewell testing the dress blowing on the grate.  There was also shots that showed Natasha Lytess and of course Marilyn perched on her heels on that grating so her heels did not fall through.

The most powerful shots he captured showed Joe DiMaggio's reaction to Marilyn's skirt being blown up over her head.  To actually see Joe on that night when we all know there was a massive blow-out between them after this and a divorce to follow.  We can see Joe walking away with his friend, Walter Winchell after watching the crowd reaction to his wife in her underwear.  The next shot is Marilyn looking sad watching Joe leave.  It is my favourite shot by Zimbel, she is standing there so serene framed by darkness.  

Zimbel also mentioned a close friend and fellow photographer who was also there taking shots of Marilyn.  You can see him in some of Zimbel's shots.  His name was Ed Feingersh and several times it was mentioned that his life ended way too soon and then finally the admission that he had committed suicide.  Feingersh took the Chanel No. 5 photos of Marilyn the following year in 1955.

I'm excited to report that Mr. Zimbel signed my copy of BW magazine featuring his photos!

To see more on George Zimbel watch this segment of the documentary Marilyn Still Life (he appears around 1 minute in) where he revisits the subway grating and discusses his photos.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Happy Birthday Marilyn Exhibit

Marilyn Monroe would have turned 85 years old on June 1, 2011. In recognition of this momentous occasion, the Andrew Weiss Gallery and the Marilyn Remembered Fan Club are pleased to present an exciting new exhibit titled simply, "Happy Birthday Marilyn."

In honor of Marilyn's birthday Marilyn Monroe fans around the world are invited to send personal birthday greetings to the screen legend and become part of an historic exhibition combining your wishes with one of the world's most in-depth collections of Marilyn photographs. The photos span her entire life, from the very first images to the last, taken by renowned photographers Bill Carroll, Milton Greene, Tom Kelley, Bert Stern, and George Barris. This exhibit is the first ever of its kind to include the world-wide Marilyn Monroe community.

The exhibit will run June 1, 2011 through August 13th, 2011.

A special reception will be held for the Marilyn Remembered Fan Club on Sunday, May 29, from 2:00pm to 5:00pm, before the exhibition opens to the public. A reading of selected cards will begin at 3:00pm. All Marilyn Monroe fans are invited to this special event, and refreshments will be served.


Greetings can be submitted in the form of a traditional birthday card, either store bought or handmade, or in the form of personally created/designed digital art. Paper birthday cards will be displayed along the walls of the gallery, and digital art will be compiled into a slide show that will be displayed on a large flat screen television in the gallery.

Please mail purchased or handmade birthday cards to:

The Andrew Weiss Gallery
Attn: Marilyn Monroe
179 South Beverly Drive
Beverly Hills, California 90212

Please sign your name with the name of your country visible on the inside of the card. Please do not exceed a card size of 5.5"x 8.5" due to space considerations. Note that all cards received will become part of the Marilyn Remembered Fan Club's permanent archives.

Please email personally designed digital artwork to:

Please include your name with the name of your country visible on the artwork, and submit in .jpg format only.


Birthday cards and personally designed digital art must be received no later than Friday, May 20 in order to be included in the exhibit.

For more information please contact or

Sunday, April 17, 2011

3 Marilyn Monroe Tattoos Added

Thanks to Kristine, Trish and Natasha for sending in their ink.  I put them up on the site here.

Marilyn Artwork by Michael Rubino

I just had to share these which were passed on to me by a wonderful artist named Michael Rubino.  I have always enjoyed seeing artists interpretations of Marilyn and the Marilyn in Art books are some of my favourites.  

It isn't very often though that I feel the need to share what I come across.  This was one of those cases.  I just think Michael's work is amazing and he has really captured Marilyn but with a pop art feel.  Just beautiful.  They are 4 feet by 5 feet is size.

You can see Michael's work at the following galleries in LA:
Classic Artforms, 9009 Beverly Blvd, LA
Framing Gallery, 8527 Santa Monica Blvd, West Hollywood
Luxe Lingerie, 363 N. Camden Drive, Beverly Hills
Or you can also visit his website at