May 24th 2012

Marilyn Forever – Chopard celebrates the legendary movie star


Fifty years ago, Marilyn Monroe left the film industry bereft of her talent and her legendary beauty. On the occasion of the 65th Cannes Film Festival, of which Marilyn is the figurehead, we are unveiling an exceptional series of 25 exclusive photographs of the star by Milton H. Greene, along with the stunning tribute jewellery creation designed by Caroline Scheufele.

This presentation of photos of the star, exhibited during the 2012 edition of the Cannes Film Festival, once again testifies to Chopard’s enduring ties with the world of film-making. They were taken by fashion photographer Milton H. Greene, whose friendship with the star was legendary. 25 portraits that tell the story of the grace, the mystery and the diaphanous vulnerability of an exceptionally photogenic star with a thousand different facets. This exhibition  is on preview in the Chopard Lounge at the Hotel Martinez, throughout the Cannes Festival, before touring the world during the rest of the year.

More than anyone else, Marilyn Monroe embodies the archetype of the ultimate star. Considered one of the greatest actresses of all time, she is above all an iconic figure. Already adulated during her lifetime, her career, her personality and the fantasies that she enshrined have endowed her with a mythical dimension that has been consistently enriched over the years.

Milton H. Greene, a New York born portrait specialist and fashion photographer, worked for prestigious magazines including Life, Look, Harper’s Bazaar and Vogue. Among all the icons he immortalised, it was Marilyn Monroe who treated him to the most powerful aesthetic experience. They first met in 1953 and soon their sense of professional kinship was enriched by a profound friendship. The sensitive touch radiating from these pictures testifies to this intensely special relationship.

Marilyn once told him “You made me interesting”. Sometimes, after the official photo sessions for magazines, once the team had left the set, he took more intimate and free-spirited pictures of her. In front of the Milton H. Greene’s lens, she could give free rein to other types of emotions and images than those bound up with her public persona. She thereby enriched her repertoire and dared to reveal more intimate sides of her personality – like the photo in which the simplicity of a rumpled white sheet reveals her vulnerability and her gentleness.

The woman rather than the diva: that is exactly what Milton H. Greene was able to capture right from his first session in Marilyn in 1953, when Look magazine sent him to take the star’s portrait. After photographs in more sophisticated outfits, he presented the actress in a new light wearing a simple black coat belonging to his wife. The sense of mutual understanding between Marilyn and Milton also emerges in the choice of more surprising settings, such as the window in which the actress is portrayed as a fortune teller or the sand of Laurel Canyon near Los Angeles, where she appears more natural than ever.

The 25 unpublished photographs by Milton H. Greene were selected by The Archives, LLC, Chopard and Oscar Generale Productions from the 4,000 photographs taken by Milton H. Greene, to which his son, Joshua Greene, owns the rights.