From March 26th-April 7th, The Lexington Hotel, Autograph Collection is showcasing a $4 million Marilyn Monroe “Red Velvet & Golden Dreams” Exhibit, featuring original historic color separations of Marilyn Monroe in The Norma Jeane Penthouse Suite, her former residences with Joe DiMaggio. This is the first time the full collection will be on display in New York City, a city which played a key role in Monroe’s career and personal life.
The “Golden Dreams” Color Separation Collection includes 21 original large format film positives and negatives created in 1950 to produce Monroe’s “Golden Dreams” calendars presented by the Goldstein Gallery.
Marilyn, a struggling actress and model, was late on rent, and her car was in repossession. She showed up at first-time photographer Tom Kelley’s studio unannounced after meeting him a year before in a minor auto accident. A model for a Pabst Beer poster had called in sick, so he offered her the job.
Two weeks later, Tom called and said that a major calendar producer John Baumgarth had seen the poster, and wanted her to pose nude for calendar. She did, under the name “Mona Monroe”. The large scale transparencies arrived at the publisher’s office in Chicago, and even though she wasn’t his first choice, was published in the 1951 calendar. After it was revealed that the unknown model was indeed Marilyn, 9 million copies were sold throughout the 1950’s.
The “Golden Dreams” image was purchased by Hugh Hefner for $500 in 1953 to use Monroe’s Golden Dreams image as “Sweetheart of the Month” in the first ever issue of Playboy Magazine. The first issue sold over 54,000 copies, and provided Hefner with funding to continue publishing the magazine and launch his Playboy Empire.
To schedule a viewing between March 26th-April 9th, 2019, please contact [email protected]