Feb 14, 2005


A few weekends ago I saw an exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum entitled I Wanna Be Loved By You: Photographs of Marilyn Monroe. While there were some undoubtedly beautiful photos in it, something bothered me about it, and I think I just figured out what the problem was: The exhibit gave plenty of little snippets of information, but too often focused on only what was shown in the photograph. For example, there were photos of Marilyn entertaining the troops in Korea, but not enough background information, such as the fact that she caught pneumonia because she insisted upon performing in a skimpy dress because she didn't want to disappoint the soldiers by appearing swathed in a parka. (Even though it began snowing.)Also, some of the information was just plain wrong, such as one comment about how Marilyn seductively removed her gloves during the "Diamonds are a Girl's Best Friend" number in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, when her gloves remained in place throughout the entire routine. (It's perfectly obvious that she couldn't possibly have removed them with the number of bracelets she was wearing.) Not to mention that some of the info was confusing, such as when the caption for either this picture or this one (I don't remember which) mentioned something about Marilyn's lying down on red velvet, when she wasn't actually lying down in either, but in this photo. I know it seems nitpicky, but if you're going to go through the trouble of amassing a slew of gorgeous photos and mounting what is supposed to be an extensive exhibition, it should be pretty damn thorough and error-free.

Note: The last three images are technically NSFW, but they're nudes of Marilyn, so it's art, for heaven's sake. Your boss will understand.

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