February 7, 2011 Kleinburg, ON —When the McMichael Canadian Art Collection opens two special exhibitions on February 19, 2011, based on the late iconic American film star Marilyn Monroe, it will be a weekend filled with guided tours, films and music along with special programming every day based on these shows, all included with gallery admission.  Plus on Sunday, February 20 only, the gallery will waive its entrance fee for visitors who dress in Marilyn Monroe attire! The public gallery in Kleinburg is expecting a large turnout to see the new exhibitions, Life as a Legend: Marilyn Monroe (curated by Artoma, Hamburg, Germany and tour organized by International Arts & Artists, Washington, DC) and Marilyn in Canada (organized by the McMichael Canadian Art Collection and curated by Chris Finn, Assistant Curator). Contemporary art and artists, celebrity, notoriety, fame and fortune are key ingredients to these two Marilyn Monroe exhibitions on show at the McMichael Canadian Art Collection from February 19 to May 15, 2011.

A weekend of programs to celebrate the opening of the Marilyn Monroe exhibitions will take place on the Family Day Long Weekend, February 19 to 21, 2011. Over the weekend the gallery will feature movie theatre lobby décor and there will be Marilyn movies playing in the gallery’s theatre, plus a special Marilyn prix-fixe menu will be served in the gallery’s Seven Restaurant. Here is detailed information on what will take place at the McMichael from February 19 to 21:

All weekend long, join McMichael educators and docents for a series of twenty-minute-long tours of Marilyn’s Fragments and Fabulous 1950s, documentary films about Marilyn, and music by DJ Goin’ Steady, and more, all included with gallery admission.

Saturday, February 19: 

1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. Lecture by Hal Niedzviecki: Celebrity to Cewebrity: How Marilyn Ushered in the Age of Peep Culture

2:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. Join the McMichael’s Assistant Curator, Chris Finn, for a tour of his exhibition, Marilyn in Canada.

Sunday, February 20: 

Get in the spirit and dress up like Marilyn for free admission all day at the McMichael! Then, at 1:00 p.m., we invite you to strut your stuff on the “Red Carpet” in the gallery’s Grand Hall!

Monday, February 21:

11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Celebrate Family Day by taking a tour or join a family silk screen workshop at 11:00 a.m. or 2:00 p.m.

These exhibitions capture the making of a celebrity and the myth behind the woman the world knew as Marilyn Monroe. Nearly five decades after her death, Monroe remains undisputedly one of the most famous movie stars in the world. Her intriguing personality and the aura surrounding her tragic death continuously attracted many artists, who responded more acutely to the creation of a legend.

“Although it has been fifty years since the death of Marilyn Monroe, worldwide interest in her life and career has sustained,” said McMichael Chief Curator, Katerina Atanassova. “Our two exhibitions examine how the art world has been motivated by the myth and legend of this iconic actress. Life as a Legend is an internationally touring exhibition which has been additionally curated by McMichael staff to enhance its content for our visitors. The uniquely McMichael-curated show, Marilyn in Canada, provides an intriguing glimpse into Marilyn’s experiences while filming in Canada as well as her popularity among Canadian artists.”

Her mystique is an inspiration in many genres as currently several projects are in the works, or have just recently been released, which feature Marilyn Monroe. Two feature films are in production: My Week with Marilyn starring Oscar® nominated actress Michelle Williams and, Blonde, starring another Oscar® nominated actress, Naomi Watts. A collection of writings by the Hollywood icon was released in October 2010. The book, Fragments, includes poems, letters, and other writings dating from Monroe’s teenage years to shortly before her death.

The internationally acclaimed touring exhibition, Life as a Legend: Marilyn Monroe, makes its final stop of a successful tour at the McMichael. The exhibition explores the incredibly diverse array of artistic responses to Marilyn’s image. An impressive grouping of paintings, photographs, and prints by world-renowned artists such as Andy Warhol, Robert Indiana, and Eduardo Paolozzi, along with unforgettable snapshots by the most famous photographers of the day such as Richard Avedon, Henri Cartier-Bresson, and Bernard of Hollywood make this exhibition a true revelation for Monroe’s fans.

Curated especially for the McMichael by the gallery’s Assistant Curator, Chris Finn, Marilyn in Canada provides an intriguing glimpse into Marilyn’s experiences while filming in Canada as well as her popularity among Canadian artists. Works by artists such as Shelley Niro, John Vachon, and George S. Zimbel are some of the highlights of this unique Canadian-content based exhibition. Both shows demonstrate the broad range of artists who responded creatively to Marilyn’s life – from a constellation of great fashion photographers of her day to the champions of the Pop Art movement in North America to well known artists in Canadian contemporary art.


For further information or images, contact:

Michelle Kortinen, Communications Coordinator

McMichael Canadian Art Collection

905.893.1121 ext. 2210

[email protected]