With Marilyn: An Evening/1961

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Marilyn Monroe was the quintessential American sex symbol, personifying the glitz and glamor of the American Hollywood industry in the mid-Twentieth- century. Douglas Kirkland‘s extraordinary photographs, compiled for the first time in their complete form here, allow us to pry into the t woman known as Marilyn Monroe, unveiling an intimate night that the world class photographer shared with the icon.

“So did she make a move on you?” I ask Douglas Kirkland. He laughs and says, “Yes,” over the phone from his home in Hollywood. “But it was more. She said, ‘Why don’t you come down and get into bed with me,’ and well, that speaks pretty clearly.” The now 78-year-old photographer is recalling the evening he spent with Marilyn Monroe.


In an revealing new photographic memoir, the famed photographer Douglas Kirkland recounts an evening he spent with Marylin Monroe just one year before she died.



Un simple drap blanc en soie jeté sur son corps nu et Douglas Kirkland réussit à marquer en quelques heures l’histoire de la photographie en réalisant, dans la lumière diaphane d’une soirée du mois de mai 1961, les photos parmi les plus mythiques de Marilyn Monroe.



The evening he spent with Monroe 51 years ago was sensual, intimate, and spontaneous, and it produced the famous series “An Evening With Marilyn Monroe.” The series consists of Marilyn posing sensually in bed, with only a silk sheet between her and the camera. Kirkland was a novice photographer at the time, nothing compared to his prolific career today, but according to Kirkland, the two of them shared a tension-filled shoot that helped create the stunning photographs. Thinking back on the evening today, he describes their time together as though they “were in a beautiful dance,” with Marilyn leading of course.




Marilyn Monroe is a star cast to earth, a spirit in the flesh, and on camera, that’s ethereal. Eternal. Forever a star glowing bright in the sky and we watch as it burns, burns everything in
its wake until one day, it’ vanishes. Explosions of sorts, and things leading in that direction, and stories and legends and myths. And Marilyn was the greatest star of them all.


Half a century after her death Marilyn Monroe remains the screen idol that the camera loved the most, and a new book and auction of rare image separations are amongst the many events marking the occasion.

In fall 1961, Marilyn Monroe was asked by Look magazine to pose for its 25thanniversary issue. “The question we asked her was, How would you like to be remembered 25 years into the future?” recalls photographer Douglas who was then 27, had grown up in a Canadian town of 7,000, and would soon be “dazzled” by the 35-year-old Monroe. “Her reply,” Kirkland told ABC News, “was to invent the shoot. She said, ‘We should have a bed and a white silk sheet. It must be silk. And I want Dom Perignon champagne and a Frank Sinatra record playing.’”

His seductive shots of the icon, who died 50 years ago, were taken over the course of a day in a small apartment.

Photographer Douglas Kirkland has released a beautiful book of unreleased photographs titled An Evening With Marilyn. The photographs were originally commissioned by Look magazine back in 1961 and, as the title suggests, depict a single evening Kirkland spent with the superstar.

Photographer Douglas Kirkland has released a beautiful book of unreleased photographs titled An Evening With Marilyn. The photographs were originally commissioned by Look magazine back in 1961 and, as the title suggests, depict a single evening Kirkland spent with the superstar.