When Bendigo Art Gallery announced that glamorous costumes of Marilyn Monroe would be showcased in Australia I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to see a piece of the world’s most famous blonde bombshell, in the middle of country Victoria of all places! Marilyn remains the enduring poster girl of classic Hollywood, from humble beginnings as Norma Jeane Baker to the ultimate screen siren. This beautiful exhibition, presented by Twentieth Century Fox and the Bendigo Art Gallery included 20 original costumes from some of Marilyn’s most iconic roles such as Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and How to Marry a Millionaire, and some pieces from her own wardrobe.
Accompanying the exhibition, the Bendigo Art Gallery installed an 8 metre high sculpture of Marilyn Monroe designed by Seward Johnson, Forever Marilyn. The sculpture is based on the iconic film scene in The Seven Year Itch where a gust of air from the subway grate parachutes the skirt of her white dress as she giggles flirtatiously. All 15 tonnes of Marilyn were transported from her previous location in Palm Springs all the way to Bendigo.
Autumn was the perfect time to visit the Bendigo. We enjoyed a walk through pretty Rosalind Park and the Conservatory Gardens while they were covered in a blanket of crisp golden autumn leaves. Bendigo is also rich with heritage buildings that were built during the gold rush in the Victorian era, giving the town a romantic old world atmosphere.
Bendigo is also a world class destination for wine. We took an afternoon drive out to the wineries in nearby Heathcote, which are well known for the nutrient dense ancient soil vineyards that produce award winning Shiraz.