The Archives’ Blog



Happy President's Day!
February 15th, 2016 1:43 pm

On a Los Angeles street in 1954, Milton H. Greene took this image of Marilyn in a red checkered shirt posing in a brand new Cadillac holding a portrait of one of her heroes, Abraham Lincoln. The car was given to her by Jack Benny for appearing on his television show and it took only a phone call by Benny to the Cadillac Corporation, one of his sponsors. One sunny day Marilyn asked Amy Greene, Milton's wife to go for a drive in her Cadillac. Being too cold, Amy refused and Marilyn excitedly showed off a trick she had learned. Just turn on the heat! Marilyn exclaimed to which Amy replied, "Brilliant! " 
Diahann Carroll
February 12th, 2016 10:09 am

Diahann Carroll

Diahann Carroll photographed by Milton H Greene 1959

"Fortunately in my youth I had the joy of working with the brilliant Milton Greene. He added such vitality and beauty to his work, which greatly influenced me for the rest of my life.

I just had my baby and went to the studio wearing this fitted yellow jacket.  I came out of the dressing room wearing a bustier, tights and heels. Milton would love to experiment and try things. He looked at me and noticed that I was still a little pudgy from baby. He looked at the color background and told me to go put on the jacket I was wearing. Being a pupil in the presence of a master, I put it on and Viola!  It was perfect.

One night he and Joe picked me up to go to a party in Los Angeles. He looked at what I was wearing and said “What are those satin bows on your shoes”. I said “What about them”.  He said they are distracting and ruining the line of the silhouette. He and Joe immediately removed them and the three of us looked at me in the mirror and saw a great pair of legs and a new pair of shoes. The affect of this attention gave me a whole different confidence and body language.

I wasn’t accustomed to a man who took the initiative to alter my clothing so that I would appear more beautiful. Milton would walk over to me and say “You don’t need that extra pin or accessory. Always remember the cleaner the better.” He did teach me to take advantage of what I had and it gave me confidence, which was good for a young girl who grew up in Harlem or is it Yonkers.”                                                              

Diahann Carroll, Singer/Actress

Excerpted from But That's Another Story by Amy & Joshua Greene. Published by powerHouse Books.

Sammy Davis Jr
February 4th, 2016 10:01 am

"We were introduced to Sammy in 1953. We were deep, deep friends until his death. He became an every day part of our lives. We did everything together. We traveled, ate, worked and looked after one another. We sat through a thousand performances and we shared a devout love for movie and other entertainment trivia. We took Marilyn to see him at the Copa. After being on for over two hours, his performed his closing number “Birth of the Blues”,  to thunderous applause. Marilyn taps my shoulder, smiles and said, “When Sammy works, he becomes Cary Grant in front of your very eyes.” 

Whenever we went to one of his shows, Milton always took a camera. He would put it on the table and shoot. No fuss, no one knew, no one noticed, because the paying customers were watching Sammy.

In the early '60s Sammy and Mai Britt, one of the first public interracial couples, were married and made a life for themselves. Not that they were publicly flamboyant and seen at El Morocco every night. Even walking on Madison Avenue someone would say something nasty in passing, hence they would need bodyguards at all times. 

Sammy learned a new number called “Bo Jangles”. He wanted special dramatic lighting, so of course he called Milton. Milton again thought of a silhouette against a black background with just a pinspot following him everywhere he went on stage. At the end, as he had always done so successfully, the spotlight became smaller and smaller until the last note came out of Sam’s mouth. The right hand is up, fingers snapping in time to the music, blackout, BAM! It was first tried in Vegas at the old Sands hotel."

Excerpted from But That's Another Story by Amy & Joshua Greene. Published by powerHouse Books.

The Little Black Gallery Exhibition
January 21st, 2016 9:42 am

The Little Black Gallery has been a great success so far and has been featured in many publications showcasing the work of Milton H Greene and Douglas Kirkland with the exhibition called Gentlemen Prefer Blondes featuring Marilyn Monroe.

Luxury London
The latest exhibition at the Little Black Gallery stars Marilyn Monroe, and features the work of photographers Milton H. Greene and Douglas Kirkland

America's original sex symbol: Rarely-seen portraits of Marilyn Monroe - including an intimate photograph of her wearing just a bed sheet - to go on show in London


Marilyn Monroe was never short of attention during her brief but prolific career, and the screen siren is back in the spotlight once again with a new exhibition. 

The Times has also featured the Exhibition in their paper.

Gentlemen Prefer Blondes featuring Marilyn Monroe is still ongoing until February 27th so make sure to stop by The Little Black Gallery to have a chance to see these rare photographs of Marilyn Monroe by Milton H Greene and Kirk Douglas.

The Little Black Gallery

Happy Birthday Sam Shaw!
January 15th, 2016 11:20 am
Milton H. Greene took this photo of Sam Shaw prepping a shot of Marilyn Monroe in March, 1955

Sam Shaw (January 15th,1912 to April 5th, 1999) is internationally recognized for his photographs of films and movie stars, though his interests and talents covered a wide array of subjects including music, theater, sculpture, painting, literature, journalism, as well as social and political activism. Shaw’s prolific six-decade career is remarkable in its breadth and diversity, and remains a historic record of the twentieth century. He is best-known for his stunning portraits of Marilyn Monroe.

In the early 1950s, Shaw began working in the film industry as a special still photographer. He captured countless stars of the cinema, including Woody Allen, Humphrey Bogart, Marilyn Monroe, Marlon Brando, and many more. His photographs appeared often on the cover of LIFE and Look magazines, as well as in Paris Match, L'Europeo, The Daily Mail, Der Stern, Harper's Bazaar, Connaissance des Arts, and others. Shaw preferred to shoot his subjects without set-ups, makeup, or decorations, encouraging them to be spontaneous and improvise— a style that set Shaw’s work apart from the stereotypical Hollywood “glamour” photographs of the day and foreshadowed his later role as an independent filmmaker.

Shaw created the iconic image of Marilyn Monroe with her white skirt blowing over a subway grate in the film The Seven Year Itch. Shaw’s “flying skirt” pictures are some of the most widely seen photographs ever taken.

Today, Sam Shaw's legacy and work is preserved and promoted by his children and grandchildren through Shaw Family Archives.

View more of his work on his website