Lost Marilyn Monroe Photos Revealed (Exclusive)

Gentlemen Prefer Blondes
Courtesy of LimitedRuns.com
Taken on set of the film Gentlemen Prefer Blondes between takes while filming the song "Diamonds Are A Girl's Best Friend." The gentleman standing behind Monroe is taking a light measurement.

Published here for the first time, the cache of candid photos of Monroe taken in the 1950s will go on display at galleries in L.A. and other major U.S. cities later this summer.

The iconography of Marilyn Monroe in photos — cue Sam Shaw's billowing-skirts publicity shot from The Seven Year Itch — is now so entrenched that any cache of unpublished Monroe photos (like this one) counts as a pop cultural event.

Shot partly by Gene Lester, a Saturday Evening Post photographer and a friend of Monroe, these images capture the former Norma Jean between takes on several movie sets during her ascension to superstardom.

Lester's candid photos reveal Monroe's natural good humor and unpretentiousness, as well as a final glimpse at the ambitious, complex woman before she disappeared forever into the Marilyn myth.

An exhibit of the rare photos, along with other never-before-seen Monroe images, will be on display through the rest of the summer as part of Limited Runs' "Red Velvet Collection." First stop is in Los Angeles, at the Strauss Studios from July 29 to Aug. 1, followed by visits to San Francisco, Las Vegas, Chicago and New York.

See the complete set of photos here.