Arne Sahlen of Kimberley, British Columbia , wrote to the Calgary Herald in response to the Glenbow Museum’s Marilyn: Life As A Legend exhibit stating that the exhibit itself was lacking true respect to Marilyn as a legend.

Marilyn Monroe: Life as a Legend
should be a high-class dinner, not just frothy desserts. Lacking insightful commentary, the costumes, glossy photos and contrived artworks continue the crass manipulation that haunted her life and death. She deserves better.

Monroe “played the best game with the worst hand of anyone I know,” said author Edward Wagenknecht. Nine foster homes, an orphanage and 11 schools framed her childhood. Her beauty brought fame; then, committed to growing artistically, she faced sarcastic resistance. Her more erratic acts reflected early agonies, the terror of expectations, and pound-of-flesh grasping by self-serving hordes.

Skilled at sketching and poetry, Monroe loved highbrow literature and music. Generous to friends and charities, she championed high ideals, even at risk to her career. She stood for peace and against nuclear weapons. Anti-racist, she aided jazz singer Ella Fitzgerald. Defying the studio system, she weakened its meat-market control of stars. Gloria Steinem praises her for raising women’s status in business. This lightweight exhibit leaned toward her fluffier, sexier quotes. But she remarked of Hollywood, “they’ll give you $1,000 for a kiss and 50 cents for your soul” and “Being a sex symbol is a heavy load to carry, especially when one is tired, hurt and bewildered.” Monroe is indeed an icon–of human issues widely shared. There’s much more to her than Life as a Legend.

Arne Sahlen,
Kimberley, B.C.



  1. marina72 Says:

    It’s always good to hear positive, informed comments about Marilyn – I could hug this lady! 🙂

  2. marilynmonroesource Says:

    I agree! The fact that she took the time to write the newspaper about Marilyn is something to appreciate!

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