These images have always been haunting. Seeing her belongings in this setting is fascinating, yet strange, and difficult to understand. Her clothing, her furniture, her jewels, her awards, her piano…stashed away, and some might even say carelessly. Many of her belongings survived the years of storage, yet some did not. Clothing items retrieved from storage were moldy from water damage, some items even being rusted, and many pieces had moth damage.
It’s sad to realize that the personal effects of the greatest star of the 20th century were placed in cardboard boxes and barrels in a storage warehouse in New York for decades, with seemingly little attention paid to preserving the legacy. Most of these items were not seen or cared for until removed from storage in preparation for the 1999 Christie’s Auction, The Personal Property of Marilyn Monroe.