Marilyn’s belongings were auctioned off only in 1999. After lying in storage undisturbed like a time capsule for nearly 37 years, the boxes were opened and their content catalogued. Most of the items were sold in October 1999 amid huge international interest, including among celebrities. The auction was such a success that other objects were later sold at Christie’s and Julien’s, as Marilyn’s personal effects were acquired by collectors from all over the world. The exhibition at Palazzo degli Esami presents over 200 items: the largest collection of the diva’s possessions in the world. The displays also include objects of great historical and artistic importance contemporary to Marilyn’s life.

UNMISSABLE MARILYN is one of the most prestigious international exhibitions to discuss the life and times of the leading figures and personalities who have written the story of modern culture. The exhibition set in Palazzo degli Esami explores not only Marilyn’s legend and career but also the golden age of Hollywood, in what was also a pivotal period for Italian cinema. On the eve of World War II, important links were forged with the USA, where the direct, simple, authentic style of the Italian neorealist productions and their actors delighted audiences with their poetic spirit and profound humanity.
This exhibition on Marilyn Monroe offers a useful opportunity to remember this important historical and cultural bridge.
A symbolic moment was the great Anna Magnani’s moving presentation of the David di Donatello (Targa d’Oro) award to the American diva at the Italian Cultural Institute in New York in 1959; the commentary from an on form Ruggero Orlando, accompanying the images kept at the Istituto Luce, reflects the mood. This prestigious award has been reacquired by BVLGARI and kindly loaned to UNMISSABLE MARILYN for the duration of the exhibition.

This exhibition, in the prestigious setting of Palazzo degli Esami, presents the objects that tell the very personal story of the woman who became an icon and legend of Hollywood cinema. This, thanks to the kind cooperation of the leading international collectors, is the most important exhibition to date on the life of Norma Jeane Mortenson.
These major loans come together to bring Marilyn’s great story alive, starting with the big dreams of a simple girl who had a tough start in life. This lively exhibition of so many personal effects and objects offers a fascinating fly on the wall insight into her intimate private world. Dresses, accessories, cosmetics, items that symbolised her lifestyle and that of her time, gifts from other movie greats, tokens of time spent with them, scripts, film contracts from her own production company, film reels or clips, film stills and photographs from public appearances, some previously unseen, images documenting the special moments in her professional and private lives: it all adds up to a rich picture of a much more complex personality than the icon fashioned by the camera.
The exhibition unveils the great determination of a woman who knew how to be unique, who could swim against the tide, in an era when gender inequalities ran much deeper than today. The portrait that emerges is much more than skin deep, illuminating a character who successfully married even the most frivolous aspects of life with the toughness and discipline that her work demanded.
Little by little, the exhibition reveals a woman with real managerial instincts, a woman who has transcended her legend and lives on as a very contemporary figure, a woman we would now call completely liberated. An unmissable Marilyn.

TED STAMPFER, Collector and Main Lendere

Ted Stampfer is a German art collector. He is a connoisseur and curator of memorabilia and objects from the personal estate of American legend Marilyn Monroe; he currently owns the largest private collection in the world in this field. His interest in Marilyn began when he was 10. Initially attracted by her film career, since the early 1990s he has concentrated on her private life, her legend and her time in New York.
Ted Stampfer has kept adding to his collection of Marilyn’s personal articles ever since the first, and most famous, auction of her private estate at Christie’s in New York. The acquisitions have always come through renowned auction houses, film study archives and private collections.

FABIO DI GIOIA, Italian Curator of the UNMISSABLE MARILYN Exhibition

Fabio Di Gioia has been devising and creating cultural events and exhibitions since 1999 and has been making television programmes for over 25 years. He has worked on 40 productions, spanning infotainment and entertainment, quizzes and talk shows, cultural and musical programmes, from Europa Europa on Raiuno to Mattina 2 and I Fatti Vostri for Raidue   not forgetting Giorno per Giorno, La macchina del Tempo, L’emozione della vita, Linee d’ombra and various in depth specials for the Mediaset networks. He devised and produced a European magazine with the current affairs channel Euronews and the international music television events for Europe’s Day, Eurovision’s first live simultaneous format, broadcast from several European capitals (on Raitre, Raiuno, Tve, Rtp1, Rtbf and Ard). The productions he has authored include 100% on La7, the 52nd Zecchino d’Oro, the 55th and 56th David di Donatello, the 41st and 42nd Barocco Prize, the 51st Oscars of TV, and Miss Italia nel Mondo 2010 and 2011 for Raiuno.
Di Gioia has been instrumental in numerous exhibitions and major events. His CV includes curating and producing the international exhibition Alcide De Gasperi   Un europeo venuto dal Futuro (A European from the future), officially opened by head of state Carlo Azeglio Ciampi (2003), the environmental exhibition event about waste, Trash People by Ha Schult (Piazza del Popolo, Rome 2007), devising and producing the nature exhibition Un tè con le Farfalle (Tea with the butterflies) (Villa Borghese aviary, Rome; Roster tepidarium, Florence; 75th Fiera del Levante, Bari), and curating the exhibition Immortale dedicated to Karol Wojtyla (2015).
He authored and curated the exhibition Dive   Donne del Cinema Italiano (Divas   the women of Italian cinema, 2010), produced with the Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities (MIBAC) and the Centro sperimentale di cinematografia (Experimental cinema centre), officially opened by then President of the Italian Republic Giorgio Napolitano.
Since 2011, he has promoted, produced and curated numerous major international exhibitions in Italy, including:
BODY WORLDS   The real world of the human body (2011 15), The Days of the Dinosaur (2012 13), Van Gogh Alive (2013 15), and The Art of the Brick   an exhibition of Lego™ sculptures by Nathan Sawaya (2015 17).