Marion Hume | June 26th, 2012
Absolutely not to be missed if you should find yourself in Florence before end January 2013, the Marilyn exhibition at Museo Salvatore Ferragamo.
While of course I appreciate Marilyn’s unique position as a global icon, I’m not one of those people who snaps up every new tome on the doomed bombshell who died in still-suspicious circumstances 50 years ago. However, what’s intriguing about the Florence exhibition is that it seeks to explore the timeless myth of Marilyn through connections to classical sculpture and renaissance paintings. Amidst the clothes the icon wore on stage and off are art gems including Boucher’s mid-18th century reclining female nude, Gaspero Bruschi’s early 18th century Medici Venus and Yves Klein’s Blue Venus of 1962.
Then there’s the shoes. A dedicated Ferragamo customer for a decade, Marilyn Monroe’s own Ferragamos are (almost) all there - some worn and frayed - everything from a pair of around-the-house turquoise suede ballet flats she teamed with capri pants and a Pucci t-shirt to the 5 inch high heels that put a wiggle in her walk in Some Like it Hot.
Even better, if you have a narrow foot and cash to spare, you too can be shod like Marilyn. Upstairs in Salvatore Ferragamo’s palazzo headquarters is the small and special boutique dedicated to limited edition reissues. Order the black calf and white suede high heeled pumps she wore in the Billy Wilder classic of 1959; they’ll look as perfect now as they did on Marilyn’s most memorable character, Sugar Kane Kowalczyk.
Entry to the museum is 5 euros.
Museo Salvatore Ferragamo, Piazza Santa Trinita 5 50123 Firenze. + 055 3562455 417 846; www.museoferragamo.it