More than 3,700 photos of American pop icon Marilyn Monroe will be sold this weekend along with their copyrights, a Los Angeles auction house said this Thursday. The photos -plus negatives, slides and copyrights - are part of a collection of more than 75,000 images taken by fashion photographer Milton Greene in the 1950s and 1960s.
They will go on the block both at the auction house and online on Saturday. By pairing the images with their copyrights, buyers will be allowed to print, sell and earn royalties off the photos. The photographer's son Joshua Greene said earlier this month in online journal The Huffington Post that it was "a bad business deal." The archive also includes photos by Greene of Steve McQueen, Paul Newman, Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, Farrah Fawcett, Jane Fonda, Ava Gardner, Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn.
Some of the Monroe photos depict a racy starlet against a black background, covered in a black sweater that highlights her bare skin.
Other more innocent shots show Monroe in a white coat against a white background. Greene and Monroe met in 1953 at a photo shoot for Look magazine, when the photographer was 26. When Greene sent her a copy of the images, Monroe responded with two dozen roses and phoned to say they were the most beautiful photos she had ever seen, according to the Profiles in History auction house. During the next four years, until Monroe married Arthur Miller, Greene took more than 5,000 pictures of her, the auction house said on its website.
Greene worked for magazines such as Vogue, Glamour and Harper's Bazaar during his long career. "Along with other eminent photographers such as Richard Avedon, Cecil Beaton, Irving Penn, and Norman Parkinson, Milton Greene is credited for bringing fashion photography into the realm of fine art," the auction house said.
An online catalog with a reproduction of the photographs can be seen on the Profiles in History website at http://www.profilesinhistory.com/flipbooks/Milton-Greene-Auction/index.html.