Life and Legend
20. september 2019 – 02. february 2020
Marilyn Monroe (1926 – 1962) is still one of the most photographed women in the world today. She fought her way through Hollywood Studios from starlet to megastar from the poorest of circumstances. She was aware of her charm and handled it as disarmingly as hardly any other Hollywood diva. Nevertheless, she managed to convey a fresh and free image of women to a whole generation of young women. The photographers Barris, Grant, Greene, Kelley, Nygård and Stern captured Marilyn Monroe in her timeless beauty. Her unique blend of sex appeal, vulnerable innocence and comedy makes her irresistible to both men and women.
In the exhibition “Marilyn Monroe – Life and Legend”, the kunsthalle messmer shows more than 100 epochal works which, in addition to the various facets of Monroe, also illustrate the zeitgeist of this epoch in an exciting way. Photographs by, among others, Milton H. Greene, Bert Stern, Barris, Grant, Kelley, Nygård, as well as works by modern artists up to the contemporary period, such as Andy Warhol, Arman, and Werner Berges, revive the myth of this icon of pop culture.
Marilyn Monroe’s Leben
Just two weeks after her birth, on 1 June 1926, Norma Jeane Baker was given to a foster family. For fifteen years, the young girl was passed back and forth between five families and the orphanage. To finally escape from the orphanage, she agrees at the age of 15 to marry her neighbour Jim Dougherty, whom she barely sees due to his military service. In 1946, after just five years, the two divorce. As early as 1944, at the age of 18, she was discovered by military photographer David Conover. Already one year later she is a sought-after model. In 1949, Tom Kelley records the charms of the young Marilyn, which are only passed on in 1952 for a highly successful calendar. In 1953, one of the photos even made it to the centerfold of the first Playboy edition. Soon the film industry became aware of her. She takes dance and acting lessons and adopts her stage name. Her most successful film becomes “Some like it hot”. At the end of 1954 Marilyn Monroe founded her own production company Marilyn Monroe Productions Inc. in New York with the photographer and long-time friend Milton H. Greene. In 1954 Marilyn married the baseball star Joe DiMaggio. After only nine months they divorce again, as DiMaggio can’t handle her immense popularity. Her third husband is the playwright Arthur Miller, with whom she experiences stability for the first time. However, her addiction to tablets and alcohol causes her to break.
Come and explore the fascinating history of this icon of pop culture!
Subject to change without notice.