Exclusive Film Collection of Marilyn Monroe from 1950 Will Be Open to the Public in The Norma Jeane Suite, Her Former Residences with Joe DiMaggio
New York, NY – The Lexington Hotel, Autograph Collection announces the arrival of the “Golden Dreams” Exhibit, featuring rare color separations of Marilyn Monroe from 1950, which will be on display in the “Norma Jeane Suite,” where Monroe herself once lived. The collection, which is valued at over $4 million, will be showing exclusively at The Lexington Hotel for a limited time, from Tuesday, March 26, to Sunday, April 7, by appointment only. This is the first time the full collection will be on display in New York City, a city which played a key role in Monroe’s career and personal life.
The “Golden Dreams” Color Separation Collection includes 21 original large format film positives and negatives created in 1950 by the John Baumgarth Company to produce Monroe’s “Golden Dreams” calendars. These films were created through a labor-intensive process known as the “indirect separation” process, which involved multiple stages of photo development and refinement and many hand corrections to obtain the desired results.
In 1949, a then-unknown Monroe modeled nude for photographer Tom Kelley at the request of John Baumgarth, a major calendar publisher from Chicago, after he saw Monroe on a Pabst beer poster. Monroe was hesitant to pose nude and didn’t want to be recognized, using the name “Mona Monroe” to hide her identity. Monroe’s picture, titled “Golden Dreams,” was selected for the 1951 calendar line, and while sales were slow at first, once Monroe was revealed to be the model, Baumgarth sold an estimated 9 million copies throughout the 1950s. In 1953, Hugh Hefner bought the rights to use Monroe’s Golden Dreams image as “Sweetheart of the Month” in the first ever issue of Playboy Magazine, which went on to sell over 54,000 copies.
Years after “Golden Dreams” was photographed, The Lexington Hotel became home to Monroe during a pivotal role in her acting career, as well as during her brief marriage to legendary New York Yankee Joe DiMaggio. The couple eloped on January 14, 1954 and after their honeymoon, they moved into suite 1806 at The Lexington. They were living at the hotel when Marilyn filmed her iconic skirt-blowing scene for the movie “The Seven Year Itch,” which was shot just a few blocks away on Lexington and 52nd Street.
In June of 2018, The Lexington Hotel unveiled the “Norma Jeane Suite,” giving guests the opportunity to stay in the very room where Monroe and DiMaggio lived. The 600-square-foot suite, which underwent a complete redesign by Fringe, features a spacious living room and dining area that lead out to a 200-square-foot private terrace, as well as a master bedroom and bathroom. The suite was designed to create a similar atmosphere to what Monroe and DiMaggio would have called home, with luxe furnishings and pops of red symbolic of Marilyn’s favorite lip color. The full “Golden Dreams” collection will be on display throughout the suite, along with additional pinup calendars and memorabilia.
To schedule an appointment to view the “Golden Dreams” Exhibit, contact Linda Goldenstein by phone at (928) 593-0073.