Marilyn Monroe Statue

Welcome to Palm Springs, Miss Monroe!

I began my day with Marilyn at my favorite coffee place on Palm Canyon Drive. After procuring a scone and a dark roast latte, I settled down with the paper in the flower-laden courtyard. I was enjoying the sun and the incomparable mountain views (while flipping through the various fates of IPOs and European nations) when I felt a tap on my shoulder. A silver-haired gentleman apologized for interrupting me and then presented me with a beautifully executed drawing. Unbeknownst to me, he’d been sketching me while I sipped my coffee and read the paper. I was flattered and charmed and said so. My Marilyn weekend was off to a most auspicious beginning!

Next, I had the pleasure of hearing Congresswoman Mary Bono Mack speak at the Palm Springs Hospitality Association event at the Hilton Palm Springs Resort. Afterward this informative and delicious luncheon, I checked in at the mid-century modern gem, Del Marcos Hotel, in the Palm Springs historic hotel district located just one block off Palm Canyon Drive.

After enjoying a complimentary glass of wine while gazing out over the beautiful pool and courtyard of the Del Marcos, I dressed in a suitably festive frock and donned bejeweled flip flops (what does one wear on a trek to meet a Hollywood legend?).  Thus suitably prepped, I set out on my mission—a mission to meet Marilyn Monroe.

“Forever Marilyn” stands at the corner of Palm Canyon Drive and Tahquitz Canyon Way. The 26-foot-tall statue is a replica of Marilyn’s famous subway grate scene in the 1955 movie “The Seven Year Itch” and recently arrived in Palm Springs after a 10-month installation in Chicago.

Marilyn’s unveiling—impossibly long legs, iconic flowing white dress held down by plump, pale hands, perfectly coiffed blond locks silhouetted against the setting sun—was thronged with well-wishers and celebrated with much pomp and circumstance. I visited her again the next day and the crowd was just as enthusiastically gathered around the emerald lawn, gazing up at her shining visage—snapping photographs and sharing memories of Marilyn. Welcome to Palm Springs, Miss Monroe—we hope you enjoy your stay and we hope it’s a long one!

About Kate Buckley

Kate Buckley is a brand strategist, premium domain broker and consultant, interviewer, storyteller, visual artist, and award-winning poet & writer. She’s worked in media and marketing since 1997, holds an MFA in Creative Writing, and is the author of A Wild Region (Moon Tide Press) and Follow Me Down (Tebot Bach). A four-time Pushcart Prize nominee, her awards include a Gabeheart Prize and the North American Review’s James Hearst Poetry Prize. She was most recently shortlisted for the Bridport Prize. A ninth-generation Kentuckian, she’s made her home in Southern California since 1998.

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  1. I visited Marilyn in Chicago the day she left for her trip to Palm Springs. Told her we would meet again in Palm Springs, which we did!

  2. Isn’t it kinda strange that we still don’t know the
    name of the sculptor? I’d guess he (male, I presume)
    must have other works displayed elsewhere. This is so
    monumental that I’m sure he must have done others.

  3. is the statue still in palm springs?

  4. Yeah….is she in Palm Springs now (March 2015)? I understand her visit had ended in 2014. The article should have a date if it doesn’t. I’d be interested in hearing where her she lives now.

  5. The statue was on a national tour in 2014.

    Here is an article on its dismantling in Palm Springs:

    Forever Marilyn is part of the works of New Jersey sculptor Seward Johnson and overseen by The Sculpture Foundation

  6. Latest updated on where the Marilyn Monroe statue is located from Paula Curator Stoeke of THE SEWARD JOHNSON ATELIER, INC. We at agree that she should reside permanently in Palm Springs.

    We were asked to give an update on the much-missed Forever Marilyn sculpture. I am happy to report that, as of last week, she is vacationing “down under” at the Bendigo Art Gallery (a museum in the state of Victoria), in Australia. The museum is opening a spectacular exhibit of all things Marilyn, and the sculpture is standing at the main crossroads of the city, greeting all visitors.

    This is a temporary international display, and we continue active and promising negotiations regarding her return to Palm Springs.

    Paula Stoeke

    2525 Michigan Ave Suite A-6
    Santa Monica CA 90404