MILTON GREENE, “MARILYN MONROE BLACK - 08”, C. 1956
For over four decades, Milton H. Greene made his mark as one of the most celebrated American fashion photographer, celebrity photographer, and film and television producer, who was best known for his photo shoots with Marilyn Monroe. Born in New York in 1922, Greene began taking pictures at the early age of 14. By age twenty-three, he was referred to as "Color Photography's Wonder Boy. Greene's work in the fifties and sixties appeared in Life, Look, Harper's Bazaar, Town & Country, and Vogue. Greene's most noted work is with Marilyn Monroe. They first met in 1953 on assignment for Look Magazine. In 1956, they formed Marilyn Monroe Productions together, which produced "Bus Stop" and "The Prince and the Showgirl." By the end of their 4 year relationship, he had photographed her in 50 different sittings producing over 3,000 images, some of which have never been published.
Greene initially established himself in high fashion photography in the 1940s and 1950s. His fashion shots appeared in Harpers Bazaar and Vogue. Greene then turned to portraits of celebrities. He photographed many high-profile personalities in the 1950s and 1960s, including Elizabeth Taylor, Frank Sinatra, Audrey Hepburn, Grace Kelly, Ava Gardner, Sammy Davis Jr. Catherine Denevue, Marlene Dietrich, and Judy Garland.
Greene's work with Marilyn Monroe (whom he first shot for a layout for Look in 1953) changed the course of his career. The two struck up a friendship and, when Monroe left Los Angeles to study acting with Lee Strasberg in New York City, she stayed with Greene, his wife Amy and young son Joshua in Connecticut. Together with Greene, Monroe formed Marilyn Monroe Productions, a production company in an effort to gain control of her career (from Hollywood powerhouses). Greene would go on to produce Bus Stop (1956) and The Prince and The ShowGirl (1957). The two also collaborated on some 53 photo sessions, some of which became well known, including "The Black Sitting". Greene's photograph for one such sitting in 1954 featuring Monroe in a ballet tutu was chosen by Time Life as one of the three most popular images of the 20th century. Monroe and Greene's friendship ended after the production of The Prince and the Showgirl in 1957, and Monroe fired Greene.
This photographic print is numbered 201 out of 300, and measures approximately 35” x 46”.