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Forever Marilyn in Palm Springs, CA.
Forever Marilyn in Palm Springs, CA.

Giant Marilyn Monroe

Field review by the editors.

Palm Springs, California

A 26-foot-tall, 15-ton sculpture, "Forever Marilyn," by Seward Johnson, mimics a publicity photo of Monroe standing atop a New York City subway grate, her dress billowing in an updraft, to promote her starring role in the 1955 film, "The Seven Year Itch."

Giant Marilyn was conceived as a temporary attraction, leased to various cities for short spans of time. She made her first appearance in Chicago in 2011, then moved to Palm Springs, California, the following year, then to Trenton, New Jersey (where she was built) in 2015, then to Stamford, Connecticut, in 2018. That was fated to be a short stay when locals realized that her panty-clad derriere was facing a prominent local church.

Palm Springs, however, never forgot giant Marilyn -- viewing her as an embodiment of the city's 1950s Hollywood glamor -- and offered to buy the statue for $1.5 million. She was erected there in June 2021, and since then countless photos have been snapped of tourists standing between her legs, mugging shamelessly for the camera.

As in Stamford, Forever Marilyn has her detractors in Palm Springs. They feel that the sculpture is once again in the wrong place -- this time in front of the city's art museum -- and they want her moved somewhere else. But it isn't clear where they want her to go.

There are two additional, identical giant Forever Marilyns, one in Dalian, China, and one currently in storage back in Trenton, "waiting for her next adventure," we were assured.

Giant Marilyn Monroe

Address:
Museum Way, Palm Springs, CA
Directions:
In the middle of Museum Way, just west of its intersection with Belardo Rd.
Hours:
Lit at night. Local health policies may affect hours and access.
RA Rates:
Major Fun
Save to My Sights

Nearby Offbeat Places

Palm Springs Walk Of StarsPalm Springs Walk Of Stars, Palm Springs, CA - < 1 mi.
Statue of Lucille BallStatue of Lucille Ball, Palm Springs, CA - < 1 mi.
Statue of Sonny BonoStatue of Sonny Bono, Palm Springs, CA - < 1 mi.
In the region:
Southern California Medical Museum, Riverside, CA - 50 mi.

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