On the fiftieth anniversary of Marilyn Monroe’s death the Ferragamo Museum in Florence celebrates the timeless legend of the Hollywood star with an exhibition called “Marilyn” up to January 28th, 2013.
It is meant to be the conclusion of a planned trilogy started in 1999 with the show dedicated to Audrey Hepburn and continued in 2010 with the one devoted to Greta Garbo. Salvatore Ferragamo has always kept a deep relationship between movie system and fashion since 1920, enhancing with his artistic products the style of many actresses. Now on Marilyn’s death anniversary the Museum celebrates her in manifold facets. Her world is being revealed in its mixture of sensuality, research of success, frailty and human contradictions. The final image one perceives is not her striking face or sexy body but something more, able to charm the entire world. In front of her innocence words fail. A definition can’t easily be found out. The exhibition focuses on both her private life and career arranging the items on show as essential elements of a whole. So the created expressly Ferragamo shoes become, paradoxically, inseparable elongations of her. Who can imagine something different from the orange Swarovsky encrusted stilettos worn by her in “Gentlemem prefer Blondes”, the film directed by in 1953 by Howard Hawks or the white sandals in the cult shot of her skirt lifting up in “the Seven Year Itch” by Billy Wilder in 1955? They are both timeless icons, memories out of stereotypes telling the essence and style of Marilyn, well established as heritage of any movie fan’s imagination. Getting inside the exhibition one is overwhelmed by the photos by the greatest artists able to fix her in classical portraits or in transfigured erotic images of purity, everybody knows. Any petty detail becomes here part of a system. Through the papers, the interviews, the films, the scripts we get into the world of the most famous blonde, perceiving the feelings, thoughts and the unusual sense of humour of an extraordinary actress, able to write down in her agenda everything, included her shopping dates, at Ferragamo’s in New York City. Photography, movies, art, poetry all focus on a fragile though strong woman continuously swinging between the ordinary everyday life tasks and the ongoing research of an inner balance. Such a humanist reading of this icon could not find a better location than Florence, so deeply rooted in its renaissance past. Thence its legitimacy to offer its homage to a mythical character, mirroring herself into the feminine prototype of the Florentine Venus of the Uffizi.