[Exhibition] Marilyn at Bendigo

Ah, what a wonderful year 2016 is going to be for those of us who love Marilyn. As much as I’m looking forward to the exhibition in Albury, I’m also keen to see this one which is a little closer to home:

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What: Bendigo Art Gallery and Twentieth Century Fox present: Marilyn Monroe
When: 5th March – 10th July 2016
Where: Bendigo Art Gallery, 42 View Street, Bendigo, VIC 3550
Cost: $25 for an adult, and $15 for child/concession. Tickets on sale now.
More information available at the website.

From the website:
Marilyn Monroe remains one of the most celebrated and enigmatic film stars in history, she transformed herself from ordinary girl next door, Norma Jeane Baker into a glamorous and universally-recognised screen goddess.

This comprehensive exhibition brings together authentic artefacts, clothing and other objects belonging to, or worn by Marilyn. More than 20 original film costumes from some of Marilyn’s greatest films such as Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, How to Marry a Millionaire and Love Nest feature alongside numerous dresses and accessories from Marilyn’s personal wardrobe.

The ground-breaking collaboration with Twentieth Century Fox will allow unprecedented access to 12 of the films Marilyn completed with the studio, including glamorous studio portraits, wardrobe test photographs, lobby cards and film posters. Curated by Bendigo Art Gallery, the costumes, personal clothing and artefacts have been drawn from private collections around the world and have never been seen before in Australia.

Amongst the collection will be this silk LBD worn by MM to attend an event with her husband Arthur Miller in ’59. I love that she wore it with long white gloves and pearls: très élégant.


Also we will see the incredible gold gown, a personal favourite that she wore to accept a Photoplay award in 1953.
Monroe Photoplay

Joan Crawford was horrified by the excited reactions of the press and was quoted as saying “It was the most shocking display of bad taste I have ever seen. Look, there’s nothing wrong with my tits, but I don’t go around throwing them in people’s faces.” She reminded Marilyn that underneath it all, the public want to know that actresses are ladies. My how things change, the dress is comparatively demure today.

I’ve written about this gown before, and spoke about it during my talk at ACMI on Monroe’s costumes, as part of their exhibition of Hollywood Costumes – a poster of it hung above my bed when I was fifteen, my benevolent golden goddess. It perhaps means more to me than any of the beautiful gowns she wore and now I get to finally see it in person! Excited doesn’t begin to describe it.

The gown was designed for “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes” and was worn during a dancing scene but you won’t have seen this shot in the film:
Gentlemen prefer

We were deprived of seeing the scene in full due to the erupting scandal about her nude calendar (and Crawford’s comments). The producers felt it was just too sexy so we only see it from behind. I hope you enjoy this little gif that I found – I think MM does it justice, I rather think they did us a favour shooting the back view instead.


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