Marilyn Monroe; Cecil Beaton

1 portrait of Marilyn Monroe

Marilyn Monroe; Cecil Beaton, by Ed Pfizenmaier, 22 February 1956 - NPG x40285 - © Ed Pfizenmaier

© Ed Pfizenmaier

Marilyn Monroe; Cecil Beaton

by Ed Pfizenmaier
2 1/4 inch square contact print, 22 February 1956
Accepted in lieu of tax by H.M. Government and allocated to the Gallery, 1991
Photographs Collection
NPG x40285


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Sittersback to top

  • Cecil Beaton (1904-1980), Photographer, designer and writer. Sitter associated with 347 portraits, Artist associated with 1078 portraits.
  • Marilyn Monroe (1926-1962), Actress. Sitter in 48 portraits.

Artistback to top

This portraitback to top

Although associated with Vogue though most of his career, Beaton's Monroe portfolio appeared in Harper's Bazaar, for whom he worked in the mid 1950s. It was whilst in New York for the rehearsals and premiere of My Fair Lady that Beaton photographed Monroe. With a possibility that he would be the designer of Monroe's dresses for The Prince and The Showgirl, Beaton arranged a photography sitting in his suite in the Ambassador Hotel on 22 February 1956. Pfizenmaier, Beaton's assistant, noted that Monroe did her own make-up and 'came just by herself, with these two little dresses... it was as simple as that.' Beaton recalled 'She romps, she squeals with delight, she leaps on the sofa. She puts a flower stem in her mouth... It is an artless, impromptu, high-spirited, infectiously gay performance. It will probably end in tears.' The session produced one of Monroe's favourite portraits which hung in her New York apartment that she shared with her third husband Arthur Miller.

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