By James Nye
Published: 00:21 EDT, 12 July 2013 | Updated: 12:22 EDT, 12 July 2013
Fashion and celebrity photographer Milton H. Greene was only 26 years old when he photographed Marilyn Monroe for Look magazine. He went on to take thousands of photos of the Hollywood siren, capturing both her vulnerability and her sex-bomb persona.
Now, 3,700 unpublished black-and-white and color negatives and transparencies of Greene's Monroe archive are going on the auction block — with copyright.
Milton Greene's 1953 assignment for Look was the start of a close friendship and business relationship with Monroe. He shot more than 5,000 images of her during more than 55 sittings over the next four years — until she married Arthur Miller.
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Legendary Pair: American film actress Marilyn Monroe with photographer Milton H. Greene, in his studio in New York, N.Y., Jan. 27, 1955. The couple became friends when he was photographing her for a magazine
At the time of their first meeting both Greene and Marilyn were already well known in their respective fields.
When she first laid eyes on the young man, Marilyn exclaimed, 'But you are just a boy!' Putting her at ease, Greene replied, 'And you are just a girl.'
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From that point on the two become close friends and developed a deep bond she shared with no other photographer during her fated career.
After her divorce from Joe DiMaggio, Monroe made New York her permanent base - even staying with Greene and his wife Amy, who was a model at their home.
Amy and Greene would help Monroe practice her lines for parts. Greene was her confidante and mentor. Together they formed Marilyn Monroe Productions, which resulted in 'Bus Stop' and 'The Prince and the Showgirl.'
Iconic: In this photo provided by Profiles in History, July 9, 2013, is a 1955 portrait of actress Marilyn Monroe by fashion and celebrity photographer Milton H. Greene - one of thousands going up for auction
In conference - Actress Marilyn Monroe, film star turned business executive, checks her lines - all curves - in a mirror at the photographic studio of her business partner, Milton Greene, (right) in New York Jan. 28, 1955
Left to right: Sammy Davis, Jr (1925 - 1990) Marilyn Monroe (1926 - 1962), photographer Milton H Greene (1922 - 1985) and jazz musician Mel Torme (1925 - 1999) at the Crescendo Club, Los Angeles, California, 1954
Around this time, it became apparent to others that Greene had become her de-facto manager - leading to resentment from studio executives and directors.
One reporter was quoted as saying, 'No one gets to Marilyn without first clearing through him.'
However, around 1956, Monroe met playwright Arthur Miller and the two got married, but Miller became jealous of her closeness to Greene and their friendship drifted apart.
'I was so disappointed in what she hadn't seen in Milton. She didn't mean anything in my life one way or the other, she meant something in my husband's life. I was never jealous of Marilyn,' said Amy Greene.
'Arthur was always jealous of Milton, which is interesting in a way. Arthur had another life. Why should he be jealous? I didn't need Marilyn Monroe, but she sure as hell needed Milton Greene, and he needed her, because both of them were never the same after that.
Life's Work: Joshua Greene shows some of the high-resolution Iris prints produced from the salvaged photographs of Marilyn Monroe, made by his late father Milton H. Greene in 1999
Two photos of Marylin Monroe by the late celebrity photographer Milton H. Greene are seen among boxes containing more pictures in this photograph from 2012
'These two people should have been together through thick and thin. Nothing....nothing should have put them apart. I was smart enough to realize that. If Arthur had been smart enough to realize that, it would have been a whole other life for both of them.'
Copyrights are included with all auction material, which is spread over 268 lots, meaning a potential buyer can print images from the negatives and transparencies, sell them and license the material.
They are but a fraction of 75,000 celebrity negatives and slides Greene shot in the 1950s and 1960s that are going on sale July 27 at Profiles in History in Los Angeles and online.
'It's a big, big deal. It's like selling the recipe for Coca-Cola,' said Joseph Maddalena, owner of Profiles in History, which auctions original Hollywood memorabilia and artifacts.
'It's nearly unheard of in a public venue, particularly for an entire archive,' said Christopher Belport, the photography consultant for Profiles in History.
The archive also includes hundreds of production stills of Faye Dunaway during the filming of 'Bonnie & Clyde' and Cary Grant and Doris Day in 'That Touch of Mink.'
Among others are Sid Caesar, Jane Fonda, Audrey Hepburn, Catherine Deneuve, Ava Gardner and Marlene Dietrich.
Photo gallery curator Anna Wolska presents a photo of Marylin Monroe and Arthur Miller by the late celebrity photographer Milton H. Greene
Most of the lots are expected to fetch between $1,000 and $15,000 depending on the number of negatives in each lot and the featured celebrity. But it's anyone's guess what they will bring. 'It's unchartered territory,' Maddalena said.
Peter Stern, an attorney specializing in arts-related matters, raised concern that unsigned prints made from the negatives could hurt the market. 'It's not that hard to sign a photo,' he said.
But Maddalena noted: 'There are no vintage Milton Greene photographs. ... He was a work-for-hire photographer' shooting covers for Look, Life, Glamour, Harper's Bazaar, Vogue and other magazines.
Like his contemporaries, Irving Penn and Richard Avedon, Greene is credited with elevating fashion photography to fine art. But unlike them, Greene did not commercialize his work. 'Only a handful was published,' Maddalena said.
Valuable: The archive also includes hundreds of production stills of Catherine Deneuve (left) and Jane Fonda (right)
'The sudden opportunity to acquire a large number of camera artifacts from a historically significant photographer will likely amplify the value ... and provide fuller context to those that are sold in the future in auction or privately,' Belport said.
The seller is an unidentified American photography collector who purchased the archive about 10 years ago.
The items came from the Greene estate 'via a financial institute in Poland that had secured ownership from Greene in a business dealing' with the copyright, the auction house said in a statement.
The photographer's son, Joshua Greene, called it 'a bad business deal.'
He said that in the process of severing the partnership, he gave them the copyright, calling it 'my mistake, which I regret to this day.'
Greene operates Archives LLC , a Florence, Ore., company that sells digitally restored prints of historical collections and owns 110,000 negatives and transparencies that his father gave him before he died in 1985 at the age of 63.
Greene said Profiles has the residual of the total film archive of 280,000 items, but not all of it would be of interest to the public.
Archives' limited edition prints are all signed, stamped and authenticated by the estate of Milton Greene.
Photo gallery curator Anna Wolska presents a photo of Cary Grant by the late celebrity photographer Milton H. Greene
'The fine art market is protected,' Greene said, because any prints made from the film offered at the auction would be far less valuable without the seal of authenticity.
He plans to attend the sale.
'I hate to see Humpty Dumpty broken up into so many pieces — 268 lots. I'd like to see it all come back home under one roof where it belongs,' he said.
Negatives and transparencies fade and deteriorate and would need to be digitally re-mastered by anyone who bought them to preserve them forever — a lengthy process that Greene said takes up to 20 hours per negative.
The rarest other celebrity negatives in the sale are of porn star Linda Lovelace.
He shot 2,000 images of her between her filming of 'Deep Throat I' and 'Deep Throat II' for a project that was never realized, Maddalena said. 'Not one has ever been seen before, and we have them all.'
Mark Vieira, an author on the photographic history of Hollywood, said he was flabbergasted by the vastness of the collection.
'Usually this kind of material offers you a slice of history. The Greene collection is more like a chunk of history,' Vieira said.
Source : http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2361433/Marilyn-Monroe-eyes-business-partner-friend-Milton-H-Greene.html