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Design By Humans
Published On: Tue, Jun 3rd, 2014

Pierre Vudrag of ‘Limited Runs’ discusses rare Marilyn Monroe Photos found

Pierre Vudrag of ‘Limited Runs’ discusses rare Marilyn Monroe Photos foundLimited Runs presents an upcoming traveling exhibition of rare, never before published Marilyn Monroe photographs. The images will be available for viewing and buying on the Limited Runs website and the show travels to L.A., San Francisco and NYC (it will be at RASA TriBeCa-37 Walker Street, NYC- starting July 23 for two weeks). I had the chance to speak with the show’s curator and Limited Runs founder Pierre Vudrag about this very unique showing.

Where/when were these new Monroe pictures ‘found?’

The images were found at different points in time. The photos by Allan “Whitey” Snyder were taken between 1953 and 1956. He was Marilyn’s long-time personal makeup artist, and they show a relaxed playful Marilyn while she’s on location for Niagara in 1953 and other films. His photos remained unseen until Allan’s family found them among Allan’s belongings in 2011; we acquired the images at a public auction on March 31, 2012.

We have twelve unpublished shots from famed fashion and celebrity photographer Milton H. Greene, taken on Sunday, April 15, 1956, a day off during the filming of Bus Stop, on the 20th Century-Fox back lot. Greene was Monroe’s official photographer. They eventually formed their own film production company actually and during the four years they worked together Milton photographed Marilyn in 52 photographic sessions.

On August 3, 1952, Fox hosted a party at famed bandleader, Ray Anthony’s home in Sherman Oaks, CA, to celebrate the release of the song “Marilyn” written by Ervin Drake and Jimmy Shirl and recorded by Anthony. At the time Marilyn was completing Niagara, the film which would catapult her to international success. Lani Carlson wasn’t a professional photographer, but a sound engineer working in Hollywood who had incredible access to events. Walking into the party with official press credential from the Chicago Tribune (given to him by a friend) Carlson simply stepped forward and demanded that the 20th Century Fox publicist give him 30 minutes with Marilyn, explaining that the photos had to go out on the AP wire that night. Of course Monroe’s publicist was hoping for that kind of coverage and all the other photographers on hand subsequently had to work around the brazen Lani. Lani developed these photos but never sold them, instead putting them in a shoe box unseen by anybody for over 50 years until he found them sometime in 2010. Limited Runs met Carlson in 2012 and now represents his entire collection.

Thomas “Doc” Kaminski was hired by United Artists to document the filming of Marilyn’s film The Misfits. For 61 days, Kaminski documented the making of the film but when he wasn’t shooting the documentary, he carried his trusty Rolleiflex still camera and took about forty to fifty still photographs which he sent to his family. Unpublished and gathering dust for more than 40 years, Limited Runs acquired four of Kaminski’s photos at a public auction in 2013, three of which are available exclusively in our collection.

The Pelz photographs have an especially interesting story, right?

Yes, as another earthquake hit Southern California, photographers Tom Campbell and Andrew Strauss had no idea what the “quake” would uncover under their Hollywood studio. Strauss bought the studio from the late Hollywood photographer Mischa Pelz, with whom he had assisted for many years. Mischa told him that “Marilyn Monroe was a friend” and that “some photos of her are tucked away somewhere.” Several hours after the “quake,” a print box was found on the floor in a storage room; it contained extraordinary prints of an afternoon in 1953 that Pelz had spent with Marilyn. Many of these photographs have not been seen in over 60 years.

What makes a picture ‘rare’ in your opinion.

Rare has different meanings for different people but for Limited Runs we are committed to discovering collections that have either never been seen or that have not been seen since first taken.  The photos must be compelling, which is just as (if not more so), than the rarity of the image.

What’s going on beyond 2014 for Limited Runs?

Limited Runs is working with Getty Images to curate Getty’s vast archive of photos and have found two long lost collections which will release in 2015. The first being the Metronome Jazz Collection which include many photos that have not been seen since the 40’s or 50’s. The second collection include many unseen celebrity photographs from the late 1930’s through the early 1970’s. In addition to these, we are working on several other collections which will be launched in 2015, including an Op-Art Fashion collection from the mid-60’s, and an alternative and underground music collections from Punk, grunge to early hip-hop.

For more information on these Marilyn Monroe photos and upcoming shows, please visit Limited Runs.

RASA TriBeCa
37 Walker Street, New York, New York 10013

Private Party Tuesday, July 22, 2014 7PM – 9PM
Gallery open to the public Wednesday, July 23rd through Saturday, July 26th

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Pierre Vudrag of ‘Limited Runs’ discusses rare Marilyn Monroe Photos found