Goodbye, Norma Jean

In her lifetime, Marilyn Monroe created some iconic images — the infamous 1949 Playboy nude, the revealing and playful film still from The Seven Year Itch, the Warhol pop art, and Richard Avedon's troubled 1957 portrait. None are sadder and more poignant than the shots snapped by legendary fashion and celebrity portrait photographer Bert Stern. Over three days in June 1962, Stern photographed Monroe 2,500 times. The collection, titled The Last Sitting, captures a nude Marilyn posed with veils, sheer scarves in various patterns, and opulent necklaces. Stern’s camera reveals a softly lit cinematic idol with glassy eyes and the countenance of an angel in peril. She passed away only six weeks later.

Since then, Stern’s images have become the stuff of legend. In 1992, the photos from The Last Sitting were published in their entirety — including the contact sheets Monroe herself crossed out in disapproval. This year Stern re-created the most famous shots with eternally on-the-edge actress Lindsay Lohan, drawing disturbing parallels between the deceased icon and her heir apparent. The original 1962 photos recently sold at Christie’s for a whopping six figures, but local fans of Marilyn Monroe and iconic images can see them today at the Opera Gallery in Bal Harbour Shops. The exhibit, “Pop and Photography,” showcases Stern’s work alongside pop art masters such as Warhol, Lichtenstein, Wesselman, Indiana, Ramos, and Scharf. The exhibit runs from this Monday through January 10. Call 305-868-3337, or visit
Dec. 29-Jan. 10, 2008


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