Original Marilyn Monroe Calendar Negative
From the Consigner:
It was 1949 and Norma Jean, a.k.a Marilyn Monroe, was broke. The rent was due and there were no movie offers or other modeling jobs, she could not make ends meet. Tom Kelley had been asking Marilyn to pose nude for him before but she refused. With current financial troubles, Marilyn finally did agree on the condition that Tom Kelley’s wife, Natalie, be there during the photo shoot.
Marilyn had posed for Tom on a couple of advertising jobs in the last year or two, one for a shoe ad and another for a beer ad. It was the 27th of May that Marilyn Monroe posed for Tom Kelley totally nude. And neither Kelley nor the nude 21-year-old blonde posing sensuously before his lens could have realized what was about to happen. Natalie Kelley gave her a robe to change into, suggesting she not tie the belt too tight, lest red marks appear around her waist.
Soon, the young woman wasn’t wearing anything but a sly smile and a backdrop of rumpled red velvet that outlined her body like ripples emanating from a stone dropped into a lake.
Kelley used a 8 x 10 camera and shot 8 x 10 kodachrome film - 24 images on 8 x 10 kodachrome film. He also with a small camera, a rolleiflex, and did 3 or 4 rolls of film with it on the new Ekatchome Film.
Though the nude calendar shots are two of the most famous photographs in Hollywood history, Marilyn received only $50 for her efforts. Kelley himself received only small payments when he sold the reproduction rights to two shots to the Baumgarth Calendar Company and Western Lithograph Company, but crafty manufacturers and slick promoters made a great deal of money selling bootleg versions of the calendar and other merchandise.
From this set of photographs, the calendar pictures called “Golden Dreams” and “A New Wrinkle” became very famous. These pictures practically catapulted Marilyn Monroe to super-stardom.
“It’s not true I had nothing on. I had the radio on.”
So said Marilyn Monroe in response to reports of her nude photographs for a calendar, as quoted in TIME magazine (1952)
At sometime in the late 1950’s, Kelley realized that the folder with the other 22 poses of 8 x 10's was missing from the files, and remains missing today.
THe rolls of film were given to Marilyn on a subsequent visit to the studio. Tom thought about Marilyn’s comment that “Joe would love them” and realized a day or two later that, maybe, Joe would NOT love them.
The films did surface in Marilyn's estate, but had been deliberately damaged beyond any hope of reconstruction.
Some years after the photo session, in 1953 an astute man named Hugh Hefner bought the rights from Baumgarth to reproduce the "Golden Dreams" photograph as the first centerfold in the first ever issue of Playboy magazine. The 8 x 10 transparency is in the Playboy Archives, the never returned it.
Tom's brother bill was helping at the session. He loaded the film holders into that large camera and moved the lights around as she moved on the set of velvet.
And after the session, Tom, Natalie and Marilyn went off to Barney’s Beanery for bowls of chili, Bill took a bottle of good Scotch down with the exposed films to the Kodak processing lab in order to “convince” the night processor to run the nudes. Although there was no exact policy at Kodak about “nudes”, they could, at their discretion, refuse to process any films deemed immoral or unsavory. The scotch was insurance the films would be processed. This was 1949 after all.
This transparency of Pose #6 is being offered as a historical piece. The rights to use the image (in fine art, or licensing) do not accompany the sale. The valid model and the copyright in the image is registered to Kelley Studios.
Estimate: $150,000 - $200,000