This weekend is the 51st Anniversary of Marilyn Monroe’s passing and in celebration The Hollywood Museum is hosting several events. Marilyn: The Exhibit is the largest exhibit of authentic items, costumes and personal memorabilia in the United States and the backdrop of the Marilyn weekend events.
In order to learn more about this event we interviewed Donelle Dadigan Founder and President of the Hollywood Museum.
Bijan Tehrani: Can you tell us a little bit about the event this weekend at the Hollywood Museum.
Donelle Dadigan: We are thrilled because the event marks the anniversary of the 51st year since Marilyn Monroe’s passing. ON Saturday will we have some major collectors coming to the event. Each year we unveil some new discoveries and new treasures that have been Marilyn’s and have finally surfaced from people who have safe guarded them and kept in safe deposit boxes or kept them in closets locked somewhere never to see the light of day. Little by little these items come out and this year we have several new treasures and the museum has a very large collection in addition to the collections that are being showcased this weekend. We will have Greg Schriener and the Scott Fortner. Greg Schriener is the president of the longest running Marilyn Monroe fan club called Marilyn Remembered and the members are devoted to the goodness of Marilyn they are devoted to keeping Marilyn’s name alive and believe and all positive influences and sources surrounding Marilyn Monroe. Scott Fortner is a very avid lover of Marilyn and he has a wonderful collection of personal items of Marilyn Monroe and in addition the museum has one of the largest collections also of Marilyn Monroe, so when all three of us get together to put an exhibit up it cannot be beat. Therefore people see for once the real, real deal on Marilyn Monroe, whether is be her personal life, her childhood her loves her divorces, her public life the studio, the workshops, the personal appearances, celebrities she is associated with, juxtaposed to her very private life that most people don’t know about unless they are truly devoted to Marilyn Monroe. These all are available at the museums and this year there are thousands of items on exhibit.
Additionally one of the key pieces that we have is Marilyn Monroe’s USO dress that she wore when she married Joe DiMaggio and went on her honeymoon. Joe was truly the love of Marilyn’s life, he was a very famous American baseball player, he was a superstar of baseball and this dress is on display. Not only did she wear this on very important moments on her honeymoon as well as when she entertained the troops in Korea for the USO shows in 1954, but additionally she wore it for the balance of her life. This is a very special dress. In fact we received the dress after staying in storage for 35 years, when it was sold in a very big auction for Christies in 1999. When we opened the box, we could still smell the essence of Marilyn Monroe and the wafting of her favorite fragrance Chanel no 5, and we are so thrilled to have that as part of this year’s exhibit.
BT: Are all of the weekend’s events taking place at the museum?
DD: We are thrilled because on Saturday it is Meet the Collectors event and it’s a wonderful opportunity for fans and devoted admirers of Marilyn Monroe to come and see the exhibit that is put up at the museum and meet all of the collectors who participated. On Sunday it is the book signing with all of these wonderful authors who have written phenomenal books, three of the great authors James Fonda, Louis Banner as well as Douglas Kirkland and then on Monday, not at the museum, but in Westwood at Westwood mortuary is the annual memorial service held in honor of Marilyn Monroe and what is exciting about that is that in the same mortuary is that at the mortuary you can see her crypt so that is exciting and that is on Monday.
BT: How can fans of Marilyn Monroe attend these events?
DD: At the museum on Saturday and Sunday we are open 10-5 and the events are from 1-3pm. Visitors will receive a very special gift which is a poster; the poster normally cost twenty dollars. Monday at the memorial service it is first come first serve, it is always filled and organizers have to even keep people outside because the space is very limited.