Sunday, February 27, 2011

The Telegraph Features MM-Personal by Lois Banner and Mark Anderson

Tim Auld praises Lois Banner and Mark Anderson's MM-Personal: From the Private Archive of Marilyn Monroe, which Abrams will publish this week, in today's Telegraph:

In November 2005 Millington Conroy, a businessman living in Rowland Heights, 40 miles east of Los Angeles, contacted Mark Anderson, a successful magazine photographer, to discuss an unusual commission.

He had in his possession two metal filing-cabinets, one brown, one grey, containing private papers and a collection of furs, jewellery and other assorted memorabilia, all belonging to Marilyn Monroe. Would Anderson be interested in photographing the collection?

The material – about 10,000 documents – had been thought lost for more than 40 years since the death of Monroe on the night of 4 August 1962. Now, here it was, a treasure trove, languishing in a Californian suburb.

It was the commission of a lifetime, the largest undocumented Monroe archive in existence. Yes, of course Anderson was interested, and, with the help of the biographer and Monroe aficionado Lois Banner, he set about creating a record of the archive's contents, which is now to be published for the first time as a book.