Exhibitions: I Wanna Be Loved By You: Photographs of Marilyn Monroe from the Leon and Michaela Constantiner Collection

Gene Kornman (American, active 1930s–1950s). Marilyn Monroe (detail), 1953. Gelatin silver print. Collection of Leon and Michaela Constantiner

November 12, 2004–April 3, 2005

I Wanna Be Loved By You: Photographs of Marilyn Monroe from the Leon and Michaela Constantiner Collection presents some 200 photographic portraits of Marilyn Monroe by thirty-nine photographers, including Eve Arnold, Richard Avedon, Cecil Beaton, Cornell Capa, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Andre De Dienes, Robert Frank, Milton Greene, Phillipe Halsman, Ben Ross, Bert Stern, Weegee, Gary Winogrand, and George Zimbel. These portraits date from 1945, when Marilyn (then Norma Jeane Baker) was 19 years old, to images taken just a few weeks before her death in 1962 at the age of 36.The collection, which can be viewed as a virtual who’s who of photographers of the postwar period, includes a unique series of fifty-nine images shot by Bert Stern in 1962, titled “The Last Sitting.” Behind-the-scenes photographs, pictures that capture private moments, and documentary footage of Marilyn during many periods of her career will also be featured.

Leon and Michaela Constantiner’s extensive collection is based on a love for Marilyn and an appreciation of her beauty, talent, and sensitivity. It includes rarely seen images of the cultural icon, such as: a Cecil Beaton photograph called Marilyn Monroe Holding Rose; a nude titled Red Marilyn by Tom Kelly that was the centerfold for the first issue of Playboy magazine; a revealing collection of contact sheets by Bert Stern and Earl Leaf; a photograph by Lawrence Schiller taken during the filming of Marilyn’s final, unfinished film Something’s Got to Give; and images by three different photographers taken during the famous Seven Year Itch shoot—the one in which Marilyn’s skirt is blown upward while she is standing on a subway grate.

Made possible in part by the Brooklyn Museum’s Special Exhibition Fund, and Tim Nye—The MAT Charitable Foundation.

Exhibition Highlights

Unknown Photographer: Marilyn on the Beach