Candid photographs of Hollywood icon Marilyn Monroe are on display in London for a new exhibition, Fox News has learned Friday.
The collection of rare images, titled “A Week With Marilyn,” highlights images taken by then-young assignment photographer Ed Feingersh, who spent a week photographing the American star in March 1955 as she went about her daily life in New York City.
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Galerie Prints, which is hosting the exhibition, collaborated with Getty Images Archive & Gallery London to compile “rare and quite possibly never before printed nor exhibited images” of the blonde bombshell, who passed away in 1962 at age 36.
Then-Redbook editor Robert Stein teamed up with the American photographer to chronicle Monroe’s life at a pivotal moment in her career — when she was attempted to shed her dumb blonde persona and instead be taken more seriously as an actress. According to American Heritage, Monroe had fled Hollywood to pursue more dramatic roles. Her desire was specifically to play the role of Grushenka in “The Brothers Karamazov.”
In 2005, Stein told American Heritage magazine he and Feingersh wanted to capture Monroe in a completely different light. And in return, she presented two different sides of her personality.
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“Tracking Marilyn, Eddie’s camera was telling more than we knew at the time,” Stein recalled. “The public Marilyn was keeping appointments — fittings for her costume to ride a pink elephant at a charity premiere of the circus, meetings with layers and agents… a grand entrance in white furs at the opening night of Tennessee Williams’ new play ‘Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.’ Before going out, she put on a performance with the stopper from a bottle of Chanel No.5, stroking her skin in sensuous delight.”
“But between moments of being seen, there was another Marilyn, suddenly drained of energy, like the air being let out of a balloon,” continued Stein. “She sat in a darkening hotel room with a drink in hand and went on the terrace to stare unseeing at the Manhattan skyline. Eddie’s shutter kept clicking, and rolls of 35mm film filled up with images of the Marilyn Monroe you’ve never seen: withdrawn and alone. He never asked her to pose. She hardly knew he was there.”
Stein said that while Feingersh photographed Monroe at bustling Grand Central Station, no one recognized her. However, she knew exactly when to transform into the blonde bombshell many knew and adore.
“Back up on the street, Marilyn looked around with a teasing smile,” said Stein. “’Do you want to see her?’ she asked, then took off the coat, fluffed up her hair and arched her back in a pose. In an instant, she was engulfed, and it took several shoving, scary minutes to rewrap her and push clear of the growing crowd.”
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“The two Marilyns kept fading in and out,” added Stein. “At the costume fitting, she arrived as the star, commanding a swarm of tailors, seamstresses and hangers-on until the other abruptly emerged and burst into tears of frustration over some detail of the garment. Eddie’s camera got it all, showing her rising tension against a visual jangle of wire hangers in the background.”
Feingersh passed away in 1961 and the negatives from the Monroe sessions were found in a warehouse several decades after his death.
Stein passed away in 2014 at age 90.
“A Week With Marilyn” runs at Galerie Prints until March 30.