Months before her tragic death in August 1962, Hollywood actress Marilyn Monroe did a photo session with Canadian photographer Douglas Kirkland for Look magazine. The two photographs – Marilyn (Overhead) and Marilyn (Hugging Pillow) – taken in Beverly Hills on that November evening, remain among the last professional images of the star.
Monroe was at the pinnacle of her fame then and the photographs live on as quintessential “Old Hollywood” moments of all time.
Now, global auction house Christie’s is putting two limited-edition archival prints of those images, back of two Life magazine in they appeared as well as Kirkland’s 1959 Hasselblad 500C camera together with his two Carl Zeiss lenses on auction. The items are scheduled to go under the hammer on October 29.
According to Christie’s, what makes the pictures unique is that, “With little other than a bedsheet, a bottle of champagne and Frank Sinatra’s voice crooning from a record player, the young Kirkland was able to capture on film the ethereal and transcendent beauty of a true icon with unmatched skill and intensity.”
Apart from Monroe, Kirkland has photographed a multitude of stars and cultural icons, including Brigitte Bardot, Audrey Hepburn, Sophia Loren, Catherine Deneuve, Diana Ross, Billy Idol, Coco Chanel and Andy Warhol.