Forever Marilyn - Visit Palm Springs

Forever Marilyn

Welcome Back Marilyn

PS Resorts, a nonprofit tourism organization, is bringing back Forever Marilyn tentatively scheduled for Sunday, April 18. The statue will be at the corner of Belardo Road and Museum Way, just east of the Palm Springs Art Museum. The Seward Johnson sculpture visited Palm Springs from 2012 to 2014. The sculpture will travel from Johnson’s studio on the East Coast and across the country on a flatbed truck. The larger-than-life “Forever Marilyn” sculpture depicts the actress in an iconic billowing-dress-in-the-air scene from the 1955 film “The Seven Year Itch.”

What About That Dress?

Dr. Bruno “Bernie” Bernard was knows in the film industry as Bernard of Hollywood, a photographer known for his pictures of pinup queens. Bernard met Norma Jean as he was coming out of his dentist’s office in Hollywood in 1944. From that day he formed a bond with Norma and she would later claim to Bernie, “everything started with you.” It would later be Bernard that caught her wearing a full, white dress with a low-cut, v-shaped top. Suddenly a stream of wind from the subway blew her dress above her hips. Marilyn didn’t move. Bernard got his camera and photographed Marilyn, which became on of the most famous photographs ever taken of her.

Marilyn Discovered at the Palm Springs Racquet Club

The relationship with Bernard culminated in 1947 when her brought her to the Racquet Club. He was photographing her in a blue two-top when Johnny Hyde, VP of the William Morris Agency, saw her at the Club. He said to Bernie, “Who’s that gorgeous dame there?” Hyde asked if he could take some pictures and Marilyn agreed. He loved them so much he launched her career. For this reason, it’s generally claimed Marilyn Monroe was discovered in Palm Springs.

Hyde got her a job in “Asphalt Jungle,” which came out in 1950, and he recommended that Palm Springs resident Howard Hawks use Marilyn in his film “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.” After that, Marilyn became the biggest star in Hollywood.

About Artist Seward Johnson (1930 – 2020)

Following an early career as a painter, Seward Johnson turned his talents to the medium of sculpture. Since then, more than 450 of Johnson’s life-size cast bronze figures have been featured in private collections and museums in the United States, Canada, Europe and Asia, as well as prominent places in the public realm such as Times Square and Rockefeller Center in New York City, Pacific Place of Hong Kong, Les Halles in Paris, and Via Condotti in Rome.  Seward Johnson’s monumental scale sculptures have captured the attention of the international media and a global audience.

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