“Marilyn Monroe – The Woman behind the Icon” is the name of an exhibition now on show at the Historisches Museum der Pfalz in Speyer. It brings to light another Marilyn Monroe, one that many people even today still don't know – a sensitive thoughtful person, an emancipated woman, a woman on a quest for self-fulfilment.
This was a side of her that I first discovered many years ago in a well-researched and extremely moving biopic – and recently again when I came across some poetry she’d written.
On both these occasions I met a person whose real “me” was simply light years away from the image of the dumb blond, so consistently and relentlessly exploited and propagated for commercial imperatives.
With the insights that it offers, this exhibition invites you to think not just about Marilyn Monroe but about iconic artists in general and their lives off stage. About the person behind the clichés.