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December 19, 2011

Marilyn Monroe, August 1953: The Lost LOOK Photos

These are the pictures of Marilyn Monroe that were taken for LOOK magazine in 1953. But only three from the album made it into the final edition. The remaining negatives, taken by photographer John Vachon in the Canadian Rockies, have been hidden away – until now.

It was yet another assignment for LOOK magazine staff photographer John Vachon. But when he arrived in Banff, Alberta, in mid-August of 1953 to shoot Marilyn Monroe on location making River of No Return, Vachon encountered an opportunity never afforded the many great photographers who took pictures of Marilyn during her short life. Due to an injured ankle that prevented her from filming, Vachon got access to Marilyn over a period of several days.

Vachon's lens captured her in a variety of contexts and countenances. Here is Marilyn the way we want to remember her: luminous, sexually charismatic, smiling radiantly — even on crutches. This extraordinary portfolio of revealing images ranges from her mugging poolside to riding high on a ski lift to nuzzling with her then-husband-to-be, the legendary Joe DiMaggio — the only time that the two posed formally together for a photographer.




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