Julien’s Auctions will be selling the Frieda Hull Marilyn Monroe Collection at their upcoming auction in November. The Hull archive will be sold along with items from the Lee Strasberg archive, and of course the David Gainsborough Roberts collection. This will certainly be the largest Marilyn Monroe auction in history.
Frieda Hull was a member of the now famous “Monroe Six,” a New York City based group of teenagers who photographed Marilyn whenever and wherever they could. As an airline employee, Hull was in the enviable position of being able to photograph Marilyn also on the West Coast. Much to Marilyn’s surprise and delight, the group learned of her whereabouts from various sources, including movie magazines and her hairdresser. Many times the team simply waited for Marilyn outside of her hotel, her home, or events she was attending. Over time, Marilyn came to know each member of the group, even inviting them to the Roxbury, CT home she shared with then husband Arthur Miller for a picnic. Marilyn frequently autographed the photos the group had taken of her and also was known to give them gifts.
The Hull photo collection spans nearly the entirety of Monroe’s career, from the late 1940s through to 1962. Some highlights include:
Unseen color photos of Marilyn as she sang “Happy Birthday” for President John F. Kennedy at Madison Square Garden on May 19, 1962.
Never-before-seen slides of Marilyn on location as she filmed the now famous subway skirt-blowing scene for The Seven Year Itch.
A large collection of many unpublished photos of Marilyn at the 1955 premiere of East of Eden.
Rare photos of Monroe on the set in Phoenix while filming Bus Stop in 1956.
A photo of Marilyn with her dog Maf that is very likely a photograph never seen before.
Other rare highlights include eleven color slides which show Marilyn and Arthur Miller following the premiere of Some Like It Hot in 1959, some of which have likely never been seen.
One slide in the collection shows Monroe sitting in the back of a vehicle with a bird in a cage on her lap, likely “Butch,” the Millers’ pet parakeet.
Home movies in the archive show remarkable footage of Marilyn departing her apartment in New York on May 30, 1958. Other footage shows Marilyn attending an event at the Italian Consulate on May 13, 1959, where she received the David di Donatello Award for her work in The Prince and The Showgirl. The movie still and publicity photos in the Frieda Hull collection are unparalleled, with photographs from twenty-seven of Marilyn’s thirty films, ranging in years from 1947 through 1962. The impressive Bus Stop archive includes approximately 150 movie stills, 30 publicity photographs, and 18 lobby cards.
The Frieda Hull Marilyn Monroe Photo Archive includes over 550 color and black & white candid snapshots and photographs, over 150 color slides, nearly 750 movie stills, publicity photos and lobby cards, and personal home movies. Also to be offered during the Marilyn Monroe event and as part of the Frieda Hull Collection are locks of Marilyn Monroe’s hair. Additional items from the Frieda Hull Marilyn Monroe Collection being offered at Julien’s Auctions include autographed photos and snapshots, Frieda Hull’s original ticket and program to a 1962 JFK Madison Square Garden gala, a Marilyn Monroe and Arthur Miller autographed Gladstone Hotel menu, Frieda’s “Monroe Six” badge, a scarf Marilyn gifted to Frieda, a Marilyn Monroe calendar, and vintage Marilyn Monroe albums.
It was an absolute thrill to work with Julien’s on the Frieda Hull Collection. I was repeatedly delighted and dumbstruck over the photos in this archive, many of which I’d never seen. Fans will be overjoyed and amazed with these new unpublished images of Marilyn. Below are some shots from my study as part of my sorting process, which was no small task considering the sheer volume of photos. All totaled, an unprecedented 142 lots of photos will be offered in the auction, the majority of which were taken by members of the Monroe Six.
View the full press release on the Frieda Hull Collection on Julien’s Auction’s website here.