Overview

Bert Stern is a renowned fashion and lifestyle photographer, known for his images of many of the 20th century's most glamorous women, including Audrey Hepburn, Madonna, and Elizabeth Taylor. A self-taught photographer, Stern began his career as an assistant at Look magazine in 1946, going on to become the art director at Mayfair magazine in 1949. He became a sought-after commercial photographer, creating iconic images for advertising campaigns and magazine editorials. 

 

His most famous work is a series known as The Last Sitting, comprising 2,500 photographs of Marilyn Monroe taken over the course of three days in June 1962, only six weeks before the star's death. 

Works
  • Bert Stern, Marilyn Monroe The Last Sitting, 2000
    Marilyn Monroe The Last Sitting, 2000
  • Bert Stern, Pirelli Calendar, 1986
    Pirelli Calendar, 1986
Biography

Bert Stern was an American photographer best known for his iconic portraits of Marilyn Monroe. With a photo shoot that took place in 1962 just weeks before the actress’ death, Stern later compiled his image into the photobook Marilyn Monroe: The Complete Last Sitting, first published in 1982. Born on October 3, 1929 in Brooklyn, NY, Stern taught himself how to take photographs as a youth.

 

Over the course of his career, Stern changed the landscape of fashion and advertising photography by creating dynamic, stand-alone images that no longer existed simply to serve the text. He emerged alongside Richard Avedon, Mark Shaw, and Irving Penn as a pioneer of this new, confrontational style. Stern died at the age of 83 on June 26, 2013 in New York, NY. Notable exhibitions of his work include “I Wanna Be Loved By You: Photographs of Marilyn Monroe” shown at the Brooklyn Museum of Art and “The Last Sitting” at the Musée Maillol in Paris.

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