Seductive Marilyn Monroe Photographs Excite Art Collectors

Bert Stern, Marilyn Monroe, Sleeping, 1962 Gelatin print 27-1/2 x 37 inches (69.9 x 94.0 cm). Image courtesy of Heritage Auctions

Marilyn Monroe, Sleeping, a  1962 Gelatin print by Bert Stern. Image courtesy of Heritage Auctions.


Art Collector pays $12,500 for Marilyn Monroe Sensual photograph


DALLAS – A seductive photograph of Marilyn Monroe titled Marilyn Teasing, from The Last Sitting, 1962 has sold for $12,500 at Heritage Auctions.   The image was not only the top lot at the Heritage auctions, it also realized five times its pre-auction estimate. This photograph of Marilyn Monroe was part of a private collection of rare photographs of starlet Marilyn Monroe, taken by Bert Stern during his Last Sitting session in 1962 just weeks before her death.

The atmosphere during the auction was electrifying as collectors used all the tricks in the book to outbid one another. The result is the high auction prices recorded by the photographs. Stern’s Marilyn Monroe, Sleeping, 1962, sold for $10,625 and disarming Marilyn Monroe, Sequined Gloves, 1962, generated intense competition among five bidders who pushed the hammer price to $10,000.

Some of the photographs presented at the Heritage Auctions captured Marilyn Monroe in her true state. They reveal the carefree life of this often troubled model and actress. The naturalness of the Marilyn Monroe photographs is perhaps responsible for why many of them surpassed expectations at the auction. Marilyn Monroe, Here’s to You, (from the Last Sitting), 1962, for instance, sold for $10,000, against a $2,500 estimate. Marilyn Monroe – Rhythm (from The Last Sitting for Vogue), also 1962 sold for $9,375 against a $3,000 estimate.

In addition to Stern’s photographs, the auction also featured artworks by important artists. Marilyn Monroe, Beach, 1962 by George Barris, sold for $6,875, while Green Towel, The Last Shoot, 1962, sold for $5,500.

At the end of the auction, Bert Stern’s rare photographs of starlet Monroe, during his Last Sitting session in 1962 exceeded all expectations, bringing a combined $80,000. In total, the photography auction realized $137,519. The auction included a range of images – from early, wide-eyed shots of Norma Jeane in 1945 to raw, sensual photos – as part of an inaugural online photography auction devoted exclusively to Marilyn Monroe on Heritage Auction website.

Commenting on the photography sale, Rachel Peart, Director for Photographs at Heritage Auctions notes that “This was the first Marilyn online-only auction we have held and the strong results – especially for the Bert Stern images – are a testament to the iconic Marilyn Monroe.”

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Many of  Monroe’s photographs at the Heritage Auctions touched on her final photo shoots, including a portfolio of color and black and white photos from sessions on the beach in Santa Monica and the Hollywood Hills. Although the Monroe photographs were limited to a period in the life of this celebrated singer, actress, model, and sex symbol, they bare the cheerful life she comes to be known for.

Born on June 1, 1926, Marilyn Monroe survived adversities to become one of the most celebrated icons of the 60s. She was an actress, model, singer and a sex symbol that captivated the hearts of top Americans. Monroe appeared in movies like The Asphalt Jungle (1950), Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953), The Prince and the Showgirl (1957), and The Seven Year Itch (1955) among many other commercially successful motion pictures during the 1950s and early 1960s. Though a celebrity, Marilyn Monroe was a troubled soul. Monroe’s life was characterized by illness and personal problems. Her cheery attitude caused colleagues to label her unreliable and difficult to work with. Her tragic death on August 5, 1962, from an overdose of barbiturates, broke many hearts.

Bert Stern, Marilyn Monroe, Here’s to You, (from the Last Sitting), 1962
Chromogenic 19 x 19 inches (48.3 x 48.3 cm). Sold for $10,000. Image courtesy of Heritage Auctions

George Barris (American, b. 1928), Green Towel, The Last Shoot, 1962. Chromogenic, 1987, 13-1/2 x 10-1/4 inches (34.3 x 26.0 cm) (sight). Sold for $5,500. Image courtesy of Heritage Auctions

George Barris, Orange Bikini, The Last Shoot, 1962. Chromogenic, 1987. 7-3/4 x 9-3/4 inches (19.7 x 24.8 cm) (sight). Image courtesy of Heritage Auctions

Bert Stern, Marilyn Monroe, Sequined Gloves, 1962. Archival pigment print, 28-3/4 x 28-3/4 inches (73.0 x 73.0 cm). Sold for $10,000. Image courtesy of Heritage Auctions

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