From the Publisher
The more than 2,500 shots that make up this monumental classic tribute to actress Marilyn Monroe were taken by renowned fashion photographer Bert Stern over the course of a three-day sittingthe last time Marilyn would pose in front of a camera. Six weeks later, the actress was found dead in her home. Even despite the ominous facts surrounding this sitting, the images it produced project a haunting, almost dreamlike quality unlike any photographs ever taken of the starlet. In front of the camera, Marilyn was known to possess an incredible chameleon-like ability to transform herself into whatever role she was meant to play. In these pages she is goddess, siren, child, woman, femme fatale and dream date. Yet there is an air of desperation about these photos as well.
In his fascinating foreword to the book, Bert Stern looks back on that momentous sitting, offering a revealing, naked portrait of Marilyn the personof a vulnerable, confused woman who although at the apex of her career, had relinquished control of her lifeand of the fashion world of the early 1960s, with its new openness towards drugs, sex, and art. From the glamorous, sophisticated photos which Vogue would publish in a black-and-white memorial spread, to the less restrained color shots which Stern coaxed out of Marilyn during an intense, exhausting session, this collection covers nearly every aspect of modern photography: portraiture, fashion-driven, erotic, and artistic. But more than a comprehensive display of Sterns immeasurable talents, these photographs combine to create an homage to Americas first goddess. A woman we invented, but whom we could never really know.
--This text refers to an alternate
From the Inside Flap
Bert Stern, the famous commercial and fashion photographer of the 60s, was the last to be granted a sitting by Marilyn Monroe six weeks before her tragic death. The three-day session yielded nearly 2,600 pictures--fashion, portrait, and nude studies--of indescribable sensual and human vibrancy, of which no more than 20 were published.