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An Ode to Marilyn

Culture Watch

If you happen to be traveling to Italy this summer, plan to stop in Florence for an exhibition of fashion and true Hollywood style. Marilyn Monroe’s timeless beauty and style is being celebrated with a new exhibition at the Museo Salvatore Ferragamo, located at the company’s headquarters in Florence, Palazzo Spini Feroni. The exhibition opened last week with a private preview attended by the likes of Rose Byrne, Anna Sophia Robb, Violante Placido, Valeria Solarino, Florentine socialites and press. Guests were given private tours of the exhibition followed by a cocktail dinner served on the first floor of the legendary Palazzo.

Monroe was a major fan of Ferragamo shoes, and owned dozens of pairs, each with a stiletto heel. The exhibition includes 30 pairs of shoes and over 50 outfits from the actress’s wardrobe, worn on set, in her personal life and in public. With her iconic status, many of the pieces on view have become cult objects sought after by collectors around the world and sold at auction.

Under the curation of Stefania Ricci and Sergio Risaliti, the exhibition and catalogue (Skira) are a culmination of research of documents, photographs, films, texts and accounts of the actress’ life. The exhibition also juxtaposes different artistic domains: photography—Marilyn was, without a doubt, the most photographed woman of the 20th century—and film, in respect to her movie career and its range and depth of roles.

Specific attention is devoted to 20th century art (Warhol, Klein, Rotella and Canevari) and classical art (Soldani, Foggini, Dandini, Susini, Boucher, Canova and Greuze), on which Monroe’s pop image relies for the figurative archetypes necessary to eternalize her effigy. Historic film clips, international magazine covers and the actress’ original writings are displayed next to these masterpieces.

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