Bert Stern

Marilyn Monroe: Bert Stern

Bert Stern’s best known work is a collection of 2,500 photographs taken of Marilyn Monroe over a three day period, six weeks before her death, taken for Vogue. Stern published Marilyn Monroe: The Complete Last Sitting in 1992. In it, he recounted being enchanted by her until a near-intimate encounter after the second day of shooting; he then realized that she was deeply troubled.

The sitting created an almost dreamlike quality unlike any other photographs ever taken of the starlet. In these images she is goddess, siren, child, woman, femme fatale and dream date. There were three separate meetings between Stern and Marilyn, – the first using scarves, the second being a black and white fashion series and the third, the famous nude shots on a bed with only white sheets, white light champagne and Marilyn. Stern had expected her to pose for 20 minutes. She stayed 12 hours for a session he described as” two people getting off on taking photographs- for ourselves but not just for ourselves”. The world was watching.

From the hundreds of shots taken, a final ten were selected – the famous ‘Last Sitting’. The exhibition will feature five images from this extraordinary meeting. Each shot is hand singed by Bert Stern and a limited edition of only 250 world wide. To the best of our knowledge these shots cannot be found anywhere in the world.