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MARILYN MONROE: A BRITISH LOVE AFFAIR

13.10.12

This weekend we wanted to bask in the warm glow of Hollywood glamour to distract us from the increasingly chilly weather which has descended upon our capital. So we pulled on our coats and spent the afternoon at the epic National Portrait Gallery, making a beeline for its latest display, Marilyn Monroe: A British Love Affair.

Small, succinct and a little bit saucy, this exhibition is totally free and sits at the foot of a staircase in the main gallery offering a calm and tranquil space to spend a little time with Marilyn. Beautifully displaying portraits of the iconic star by British photographers, rare magazine covers and film stills, it offers a great representation of Marilyn's image to the British public.

British photographers, such as Antony Beauchamp, Cecil Beaton, Larry Burrows and Jack Cardiff have shot Marilyn both on and off British soil. Some show Marilyn in full pin-up mode, others are more casual; in a friend's back garden or lounging in hotel suites. On one occasion Marilyn arrived over 9 hours late for a shoot with no apology offered, yet the minute she stepped in front of the camera all was forgiven. Marilyn knew her stuff which is why you'll rarely see a bad shot of Marilyn Monroe, she was a photographer's dream.

The exhibition shows a selection of rare magazine covers with photographs which reveal the creation of Monroe's image between 1945 to 1962 offering an insight into what Brits would have seen of the world's most famous Hollywood star.

And one of the main walls of the collection displays press photographs, film stills, posters, lobby cards and vintage photographs during the filming of The Prince and The Showgirl in 1956 at the height of Marilyn's success.

Fans of Marilyn, photography or simply Hollywood glamour should stop by and get caught up in Marilyn's British love affair.

Marilyn Monroe: A British Love Affair

Until Mar 24th 2013, National Portrait Gallery, free admission.