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Marilyn Monroe: A British Love Affair @ National Portrait Gallery

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by Helen Crane (subscribe)
Freelance writer living in South London. Read my no-nonsense art and culture blog here:
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Yes, she really does look gorgeous from every angle
Marilyn Monroe was one of the most photographed women of her time, so it's no surprise that new images of the iconic bombshell are always being uncovered.

Film stills, rare magazine covers and images taken by famous photographers come together in this small but perfectly formed exhibition, which focuses on the starlet's British connections during the period from 1947 to 1962.

Photographs by Cecil Beaton and Anthony Beauchamp are a particular highlight, along with promotional posters for 1957 film 'The Prince and the Showgirl,' where Monroe played the leading lady alongside Laurence Olivier. During this time she lived in Britain for four months, and one photograph shows her meeting the Queen at a Royal Command performance. Other Brits pictured alongside the glamorous icon include poet Edith Sitwell, director Roy Ward Baker and singer Frankie Vaughan, with whom Monroe appeared in the 1960 film 'Let's Make Love'.

From early pin-up magazine shoots in a home-made yellow bikini to unstaged backstage shots of Monroe and her third husband, playwright Arthur Miller, this exhibition shows two sides to the infamous actress, giving a rare glimpse into what life was really like as Norma Jean Baker.

And yes, she really does look gorgeous from every angle.

The exhibition is on display until 24 March at the National Portrait Gallery, St Martins Place, London WC2H 0HE
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Why? For more information
When: 10.00-18.00 daily (Thursdays and Fridays until 21.00)
Phone: 020 7306 0055
Where: National Portrait Gallery, St Martins Place, London WC2H 0HE
Cost: Free
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