Ever since the Getty Images Gallery opened up down my road at work I have constantly found myself, on the way to the tube after a long day, being beckoned in by the glitzy champagne receptions and wondering what celeb-studded bash was taking place to celebrate some iconic retrospective this Monday…or Tuesday, or Wednesday. Once I even caught a glimpse of Jenson Button at the gallery, being celebrated for his and Lewis Hamilton’s photographic skills…yeah I never knew they did pictures either. But when the Marilyn Monroe exhibition took up residency, it was the final straw.
The retrospective, which includes iconic photography, as well as rarer images of the Hollywood siren, from her early days as a budding starlet to stills of the actress at her peak, also includes original costumes and garments worn by the megastar. And we are talking some serious fashion here. Plunging necklines, skimpy showgirl costumes, and a whole host of beadwork. Despite the more iconic, highly duplicated images of Monroe being on display, for me the more candid and less universally exposed shots were fascinating. Many photographs of Marilyn and Laurence Olivier feature in the exhibition, and depict various scenes when the two were in London to promote ‘The Prince and The Showgirl’. By all accounts Olivier actually found Marilyn very hard to work with, due to tardiness on her part.
The gallery, located at 46 Eastcastle Street (just round the corner from Oxford Circus) is also absolutely free to visit. Perfect if you want to escape the hoards of shoppers on the main street! ‘Marilyn’, as the exhibition is known, has in fact been laid on to mark the 50th anniversary of Ms. Monroe’s death (She passed in August 1962), and runs until 23rd May.
Images courtesy of Getty Images.