February 1956 – The ultimate Monroe-Greene achievement. Many Monroe fans revere The Black Sitting as the finest pictures of Marilyn available. Although sexy and provocative, the images retain the innocence of youth. With the red wine flowing, over the course of four hours, Milton and stylist Joe Eula had Marilyn posing with hats, bustier and fishnet stockings. Near the end, they went a step further, with Marilyn going topless and wrapped in black velvet. Other than the private portfolio that Milton gave Marilyn, the pictures were never seen by the public during her lifetime. They appeared for the first time in Norman Mailer’s 1976 book Marilyn. Photographed in Milton’s New York studio before leaving for California to make Bus Stop, the use of the bustier and fishnet stockings sparked the design for the costume worn by Cherie, the character she played in the film.
September, 1953 – Fleur Cowles, editor-in-chief of Look magazine, brought Milton to Los Angeles to meet Marilyn. Mandolin was the first photographic collaboration between the two. Over the next three days they created memorable work that won her over. Marilyn had sprained her left ankle while filming River of No Return, which was the only reason she was even available for this assignment.
September 1953 – Taken during their first sitting for Look magazine, this series was shot after the entourage from Look had left. Milton loved to use props in his photography. Here Marilyn is wearing one of Amy’s sweater coats, a favorite of Milton’s. At the time, many of these photos were considered too risqué for Look magazine, which ended up only publishing a few of the pictures of her sitting on the floor.