In the 1950s Marilyn Monroe made many dazzling appearances at premieres and on movie screens, wearing gowns embellished with Swarovski crystals. These included her famous 1953 performance of the song “Diamonds are a girl’s best friend,” wearing jewelry by Swarovski, and above all her legendary May 1962 appearance in Madison Square Garden in New York. Wearing a figure-hugging, skin-toned chiffon gown covered with thousands of sparkling crystals, created by Jean Louis to perfectly follow the curves of her body, she sang her celebrated birthday serenade for US president John F. Kennedy. It made history – just a few weeks before her sudden, early death.
An exact replica of the original “Happy Birthday, Mr. Kennedy” dress is on display at Swarovski Kristallwelten (Swarovski Crystal Worlds), together with an original black chiffon scarf. An original invitation and menu card give some insights into the legendary evening birthday party for John F. Kennedy. All the Marilyn Monroe exhibits are on loan from the Ted Stampfer Collection. Ted Stampfer is a German private collector, lender, and curator of original possessions and memorabilia of the US screen legend Marilyn Monroe. Ted Stampfer’s collection of 1,500 items is now the largest of its kind, and the only one to offer public access to such a wide range of items.