Richard Avedon Studio, New York
Acquired by the Quillan Company from the above, 1990
Jill Quasha, The Quillan Collection of Nineteenth and Twentieth Century Photographs (New York, 1991), pl. 66 (this print)
Other prints of this image:
Richard Avedon, Woman in the Mirror (New York, 2005), p. 88
Richard Avedon Portraits (The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2002, in conjunction with the exhibition), unpaginated
Richard Avedon, An Autobiography (New York, 1993), pl. 134
Richard Avedon: Evidence, 1944-1994 (New York: Whitney Museum of American Art, 1994, in conjunction with the exhibition), p. 138
Michael Juul Holm, ed., Richard Avedon - Photographs 1946 - 2004 (Humlebæk: Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, 2007, in conjunction with the exhibition), p. 60
Paris-New York-Tokyo (Tsukuba Museum of Photography, 1985, in conjunction with the exhibition), pl. 22
Carroll T. Hartwell, The Making of a Collection: Photographs from the Minneapolis Institute of Arts (Millerton, 1984), p. 94
Sarah Greenough, Joel Snyder, David Travis, and Colin Westerbeck, On the Art of Fixing a Shadow: One Hundred and Fifty Years of Photography (National Gallery of Art , Washington, and The Art Institute of Chicago, 1989, in conjunction with the exhibition), p. 374, fig. 13
When Richard Avedon made this now-iconic portrait of Marilyn Monroe on a May evening in 1957, she was nearing the pinnacle of her film career and was five years from her death at age 36 from a drug overdose. As Avedon recalled in an interview with filmmaker Helen Whitney,
'There was no such person as Marilyn Monroe. Marilyn Monroe was someone Marilyn Monroe invented, like an author creates a character. For hours she danced and sang and flirted and did this thing that's--she did Marilyn Monroe. And then there was the inevitable drop. And when the night was over, she sat in the corner like a child, with everything gone. I saw her sitting quietly without expression on her face, and I walked towards her but I wouldn't photograph her without her knowledge of it. And as I came with the camera, I saw that she was not saying no' (quoted in Richard Avedon Portraits, unpaginated).
According to The Richard Avedon Foundation, there are only four vintage prints of this image. In addition to the print offered here, two are in private collections, and the fourth is held by the Foundation.
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