Post Lot Text
One of the very few nude images of herself that Marilyn autographed, this piece comes with a story from the current consignor as to why she may have agreed to sign it: In 1949, the inscribed 'Steve' was a young man who worked for Tom Kelley, the photographer who shot the 'Red Velvet' nudes of MM. As legend has it, it was Kelley who loaned MM $5 to get to an audition after her car had broken down on Sunset Boulevard, casually telling her to stop by his studio to repay the money when she had it. But 'Steve,' the consignor's father, had a slightly different version of what happened. It was he, and not Kelley, who happened upon MM that fateful day on Sunset Boulevard, and it was he who loaned her the $5 while suggesting that she pose for his boss if she needed extra money. As we now know, MM did eventually make it to Kelley's studio and it was here where she met 'Steve' again. He had the envious job of being the 'ice man' during the shoot and because of his intimate, yet professional, help during the session, MM later signed this print for him. Is this version of the story true? Because the three main participants are now gone, it's impossible to know for certain. If Marilyn, Tom Kelley and 'Steve' were still here, would they themselves even remember the exact sequence of events from that one day more than fifty-three years ago? However the nude photo session came to be, this print speaks for itself -- it is Marilyn's signature inscribed to a 'Steve' who did tell this particular story to his daughter who then relayed it to Christie's.