Marilyn Monroe Bigger Than Life on Chicago's Pioneer Court.

Marilyn Monroe Bigger Than Life on Chicago's Pioneer Court.
Things are looking up on Chicago's Pioneer Court.

Chicago, Wednesday, July 13, 2011.  Just in time for the weekend, a 26-foot statue of Marilyn Monroe replicating her famous subway scene in "The Seven Year Itch," will be unveiled this Friday at 7:00p.m. on Chicago's Pioneer Court.  As of today the statue, by New Jersey based artist Seward Johnson is half-complete with the lower part of Monroe's body viewable. Visitors to the plaza will see her legs, her iconic white sandals, and the skirt of her white dress as it blows in the wind exposing her "hot" panties.  The top part of the statue is carefully wrapped in a patriotic red, white and blue cloth. Update (Sunday, July 17): For a full view of the statue unveiled and reactions go to Marilyn Monroe Unveiled.

Johnson, born in 1930, is famous for his trompe l'oeil painted bronze statues that although criticized for being kitsch always draw attention and controversy.  The artist's work appears around the globe including a 25-foot version of "Unconditional Surrender," the V-J kiss in Times Square.  Chicagoans may remember Johnson's famous "American Gothic" sculpture that graced Pioneer Court in 2008 or his King Lear statue that spent the summer and fall of 2009 in the same spot.

The Marilyn pose was taken from the 1955 film, "The Seven Year Itch" directed by Billy Wilder.  The film which won a Golden Globe award for Marilyn's co-star Tom Ewell went on to be included in the American Film Institute's list of the top 100 American Comedy films of the past 100 years coming in at number 51.

The footage, of Marilyn standing over a subway grate as a breeze from the passing train below causes her skirt to blow up revealing her "panties", became one of the most iconic scenes of the 20th century. The movie which was filmed on location and on a sound stage in New York was to replicate the corner of Lexington Avenue at 52nd Street but what could be more appropriate than for this scene to be replicated in the "Windy City".

Check out the original shot in this video:
The statue is located just south of the Tribune Tower in Pioneer Court at 400 N. Michigan. Visitors are welcome to view and take pictures of this striking piece of public art. Zeller Realty Group, is responsible for Pioneer Court's installations. For more pictures of the Marilyn Monroe bronze go to the home page of WGN radio The statue is expected to remain in place through Spring of 2012.

Filed under: Uncategorized


Leave a comment
  • Does this make it cool now to look up women's skirts or is that still frowned upon?

  • Only acceptable if she's a bronze.

  • fb_avatar

    OMG I ♥ it...

  • In reply to Jacklyn Rivera:

    I'm getting more of the love it--than the other. Glad you like it.

Leave a comment

  • ChicagoNow is full of win

    Welcome to ChicagoNow.

    Meet our bloggers,
    post comments, or
    pitch your blog idea.

  • Advertisement:
  • What’s happening around town

    Love Never Dies at Cadillac Palace Theatre

    The Wolves at Goodman Theatre

    Jeeves In Bloom at the Ruth Page Theater (1016 N. Dearborn) through February 26.

    A Moom for the Misbegotten at Writers theatre through March 18

    Auto Show through February 19

    St. Patrick’s Day

  • Meet The Blogger

    Carole Kuhrt Brewer

    Arts, dining, theater and entertainment reporter for media since 1997.

  • Follow me on Twitter.

  • Recent posts

  • Monthly Archives

  • Categories

  • Recent Comments

    • I don't know why St Louis is not #1 on that list. It should be, it is nowhere near as…
      Read the story | Reply to this comment
    • In reply to Richard Davis:
      Actually I am not a shopper and definitely not a one percenter or would even care to be. What I…
      Read the story | Reply to this comment
    • The increasing taxes and fees and general cost of living in Chicago is driving out the middle class. If…
      Read the story | Reply to this comment
    • In reply to Rick:
      What makes this a little different is the Chicago connection...definitely worth checking out. The Art Institute always does a good…
      Read the story | Reply to this comment
    • Went to the Picasso museum in Paris and loved it. Glad they are bringing his works to Chicago. Will definitely…
      Read the story | Reply to this comment
  • Google Analytics Stats

    generated by GADWP 
  • Latest on ChicagoNow

  • Advertisement: