On the 22nd of December I had some time to wander around again. Feeling restless with a camera in my bag I checked out the Dam Palace and the Marilyn Monroe exhibition. To my pleasant surprise the Marilyn Monroe exhibition was pretty good. Yes they charge 16 Euros for a ticket but this exhibition was worth it. (I paid less because I had a Dutch museum card.)
When I walked in I did not expect much. Call it the anti-hype bias that I have when people emphasize too much how great something or someone is. Well I bought my ticket, put away my bag and the surprise began.
Usually the topic of an exhibition requires a lot reading and introductions. Here no words, what you see is what you get. Of course a narrative follows. Her life started as being born Norma Jeane Baker. Her life was interesting. Of all the people in her life she did not have her mother with her from the start and from there on made certain choices.
Next to this short narrative is an entrance to the actual exhibition. Pictures were not allowed. Good they were clear on that. Behind this entrance you find personal belongings of Norma Jeane or Marilyn (whatever you prefer) and they tell the story of an introverted girl who conquered the silver screen. Can you imagine an introverted girl with a somewhat pretty appearance with a love for books becoming a famous actress and fashion icon with feminist ambitions?
Well there she was, Marilyn Monroe.
P.S. Whether she was your favourite fashion icon or not, Norma Jeane Baker was interesting in that she developed herself from nobody to somebody. Some of her quotes are very telling of her struggles and choices.