I’ve always thought that the 1999 Christie’s auction, “The Personal Property of Marilyn Monroe,” would most certainly be the most important auction ever when it came to Marilyn. However, Julien’s Auctions is moving into this same category with its November Marilyn Monroe auction.
Today, Julien’s announces the addition of the Lee Strasberg Marilyn Monroe Archive to their upcoming November auction. The Strasberg Monroe Archive will be sold along with the David Gainsborough-Roberts Marilyn Monroe Collection. The Lee Strasberg Marilyn Monroe archive includes additional personal items belonging to Marilyn that have never before been offered at auction, including several pairs of Marilyn’s shoes, Marilyn Monroe personally drawn artwork, and other many other items.
Julien’s Auctions Marilyn Monroe Auction
November 19 & 20, 2016 | Los Angeles, CA
MMPersonal, released in 2011, showcased an unprecedented array of Marilyn Monroe letters, receipts, documents, financials and other personal files from two filing cabinets holding basically every single documented aspect of her life, along with many personal items belonging to the legend.
Released in 2012, Fragments contained poems and notes jotted down in journals and notebooks, together with handwritten and typed letters sent to Dr. Ralph Greenson, Lee Strasberg, and Milton Greene among others.
With these two collections being sold at the same time, this will certainly be the most diverse and monumental Marilyn Monroe auction event ever.
In addition to the David Gainsborough-Roberts collection, I was lucky enough to be asked to catalog items from the Lee Strasberg archives also. Below are a few of the top items that I pulled from MMPersonal and Fragments to be showcased as part of this auction.
Marilyn Monroe Architectural Drawings for 61st Street New York Property
An original letter from John E. Holland of the Charles F. Noyes Real Estate Company dated November 15, 1961, addressed to Miss Marjorie Stengel (Marilyn’s secretary), Marilyn Monroe Productions, Incorporated, 444 East 57th Street, New York, stating, “I am enclosing herewith photostats which I had made of the drawings adding a stairway which would include all or half of the third floor with the duplex garden apartments. These sketches may be somewhat confusing, but I could easily explain them if you would like to have me do so,” together with six photostat copies of original architectural drawings for the redesign of an apartment located at 241 East 61st Street in New York. The drawings go into great detail as to the redesign of the apartment, with notes stating, “This could be another bedroom or boudoir, or health studio with “massage” table, “chaise lounge,” private living room…or…with numerous “closets.”
I found these files to be particularly astonishing. The drawings from November of 1961 imply that Marilyn was considering relocating from the home she’d shared with husband Arthur Miller on East 57th street to a three-story apartment on East 61st Street. Monroe and Miller divorced earlier in 1961. Even more interesting is that fact that, as Marilyn considered a new apartment in New York City near the end of 1961, she made an offer on January 12, 1962, on a house in Brentwood, CA. She moved into 12305 Fifth Helena Drive in Brentwood in March.
Dated February 2, 1962, this vinyl covered, wire bound checkbook was for Marilyn Monroe’s personal account at Irving Trust Company in New York City, annotated “MM Personal” on the cover. The checkbook covers Marilyn’s New York expenses from February 2 through August 31, 1962, check numbers 2102 through 2251, and offers a fascinating look at Marilyn Monroe’s expenses during the final year of her life.
Recipients of payments from Marilyn’s personal account during her final six months include Saks Fifth Avenue in Beverly Hills, the Mexican Government Tourist Bureau, Flatiron Window Cleaning Company, Hedda Rosten, New York Telephone Company, J. Ricky (for “face treatments”), Lena Pepitone, Hattie Stephenson, Empire State Drycleaners and Hand Launderers, Century Furniture Repairs, Exec-U-Car Service, Globe-Star Travel Service, Pollock-Bailey Pharmacists, Marie Irvine (Make-up for special appearance at Madison Square Garden), Sutton Wines & Liquors, Madison Avenue Florist, New York State Income Tax Bureau, Department of Labor, and State Unemployment Insurance Fund, among others.
The final check from this checkbook written while Marilyn was alive was to Hattie Stephenson, Marilyn’s East coast housekeeper, on August 3, 1962. Checkbook activity resumed on August 10, through August 31, 1962, with payments made to Stephenson and Hedda Rosten.
Several Marilyn Monroe signed checks are included, some actually written in Marilyn’s own hand, with her signature having been ripped from the check so it couldn’t be cashed. However, in some cases the remnants of Marilyn’s signature are still present, as the complete signature was not torn away from the check.
Marilyn Monroe Checkbook September 25, 1961 – February 23, 1962
This checkbook was for Marilyn Monroe’s personal account at Irving Trust Company in New York City, annotated “MM Personal” on the cover. The checkbook covers Marilyn’s New York expenses from September 25, 1961 through February 23, 1962, with check numbers 1802 through 1951, offering a fascinating look at Marilyn Monroe’s expenses as she entered the final year of her life.
Recipients of payments from Marilyn’s personal account during this period include Taft Garage (RR car storage), Bloomingdale’s, Hammacher-Schlemmer, Hattie Stephenson, Arthur P. Jacobs, Lena Pepitone, RCA Services (for 1 year contract), Ralph Roberts, Elizabeth Arden Beverly Hills, Mrs. Jane Zigler (rent-Calif. Apt.) Schwab’s Pharmacy, Maximilian Fur Company (fur storage), Anna’s Housewares, I. Magnin + Co., Beverly Hills Call Board (answering serv.) A. Fitz + Sons, Berkley Sq. Cleaners, Saks Fifth Avenue Beverly Hills, Ralph Greenson, Harold Tribune Fresh Air Fund, Internal Revenue Servivce, Cedars of Lebanon Hospital, Jax – Manhattan, Jurgensen’s Grocery, New York Telephone Company, Malone Studio Service, Erno Laszlo Institute, Beverly Hills Flowers, Abercrombie + Fitch, Bedford Prescription Pharmacy, Hyman Engelberg, M.D., Pioneer Hardware, Screen Actors Guild, Philip R. Reuben, M.D., and Edward J. Simons, M.D. among others.
Interestingly, a typed reconciliation of Marilyn’s account, stapled to the inside of the checkbook, indicates she was overdrawn by $991.41 on December 31, 1961.
Several Marilyn Monroe signed checks are included with her signature having been ripped from the check so it couldn’t be cashed. However, in one case, the remnants of Marilyn’s signature is still present, as the complete signature was not torn away from the check.
Marilyn Monroe and Arthur Miller 1959 Federal Income Tax Return
A 1959 Federal Income Tax Return for Marilyn Monroe and Arthur Miller, including Form 1040, Schedule C, and Form 1116, together with five typed pages documenting income for Monroe and Miller, along with business expenses and deductions, contributions, taxes paid, medical expenses, etc.
These documents show that that combined income for Monroe and Miller for 1959 was $323,453.00, of which $103,362.50 was income from royalties for Miller’s plays, including “Death Of A Salesman,” “Crucible,” and “View from The Bridge,” among others. The Millers were required to write a check to the IRS for $30,338.55, the balance due for taxes on their income. Monroe’s marriage to Miller ended in 1961.
Marilyn Monroe Receipts for 34th Birthday Celebration
A receipt from “Gill’s Old Fashioned Ice Cream,” dated June 1, 1960, for 100 ice cream treats, together with a receipt from “Paper Unlimited, Inc.” for forks, spoons, napkins, plates and a tablecloth, dated May 24, 1960.
Marilyn Monroe’s 1955 Address Book
A Gucci made brown leather bound six-ring address book belonging to Marilyn Monroe from 1955, with entries written entirely in Marilyn’s own hand, including Lee Strasberg, Maurine Stapleton, Milton Greene, Harold Clurman, among others. Also includes various handwritten entries and notes throughout.
Marilyn Monroe Handwritten Stuffing Recipe
Marilyn Monroe’s personal stuffing recipe, written entirely in her own hand on “City Title Insurance Company” letterhead, from Marilyn’s time living in New York City.
Marilyn Monroe Handwritten Note
A Marilyn Monroe handwritten note on Parkside House stationery, written while she was in England filming “The Prince and The Showgirl” in 1956.
The note reads:
“I guess I have always been deeply terrified to really be someones (sic) wife since I know from life one cannot love another, ever, really.”
Interestingly, Marilyn had just entered her third marriage and was on location with her new husband Arthur Miller.
Marilyn Monroe Typed Letter to Dr. Ralph Greenson
A carbon copy of a typed letter from Marilyn Monroe to Dr. Ralph Greenson, the California based psychiatrist who treated Marilyn in the period leading up to her death. This deeply emotional letter, dated March 2, 1961, was written while Marilyn was staying at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center for three weeks of recuperation following her stay at New York’s Payne Whitney Psychiatric Clinic.
“There was no empathy at Payne-Whitney — it had a very bad effect — they asked me after putting me in a “cell” (I mean cement blocks and all) for very disturbed depressed patients (except I felt I was in some kind of prison for a crime I hadn’t committed. The inhumanity there I found archaic. They asked me why I wasn’t happy there (everything was under lock and key; things like electric lights, dresser drawers, bathrooms, closets, bars concealed on the windows — the doors have windows so patients can be visible all the time, also, the violence and markings still remain on the walls from former patients). I answered: “Well, I’d have to be nuts if I like it here.””
“I sat on the bed trying to figure if I was given this situation in an acting improvisation what would I do. So I figured, it’s a squeaky wheel that gets the grease. I admit it was a loud squeak but I got the idea from a movie I made once called “Don’t Bother to Knock”. I picked up a light-weight chair and slammed it, and it was hard to do because I had never broken anything in my life — against the glass intentionally. It took a lot of banging to get even a small piece of glass – so I went over with the glass concealed in my hand and sat quietly on the bed waiting for them to come in. They did, and I said to them “If you are going to treat me like a nut I’ll act like a nut”. I admit the next thing is corny but I really did it in the movie except it was with a razor blade. I indicated if they didn’t let me out I would harm myself — the furthest thing from my mind at that moment since you know Dr. Greenson I’m an actress and would never intentionally mark or mar myself. I’m just that vain.”
The letter also takes several sentimental turns with Marilyn fondly referencing Joe DiMaggio and Yves Montand. Marilyn closed the letter with, “I think I had better stop because you have other things to do but thanks for listening for a while. Marilyn M.”
Marilyn Monroe Handwritten Note
An undated note written entirely in Monroe’s own hand, reading:
“For life – It is rather a determination not to be overwhelmed.
For work -The truth can only be recalled, never invented.”
Diehard Monroe fans may recall a special report on Fragments that aired on the Today show. To view, click here.
Below is a photo of a pair of Marilyn’s shoes being sold in the auction.
Below is a photo of a piece of art, hand drawn by Marilyn.
What’s not yet been announced are the regular Marilyn Monroe consignments outside of the Gainsborough-Roberts collection and the Strasberg Archive. This will certainly be an auction event that’s not to be missed. If you’re unable to attend in person, Julien’s will be streaming live via their website.
Watch this space as I’ll be announcing soon a contest where the winners will receive a free copy of the Julien’s Auctions 2016 Marilyn Monroe Auction catalogue box set below.