The Golden Age of Hollywood produced actual demigods. The silver screen imbued the stars with impossible glamour. But the studio system was no heaven: It overworked and disposed of actors and churned out movies in the brutal fashion of an assembly line. Perhaps thats why so many photos of stars and starlets, today considered iconic, had to be saved from the dump decades ago by film historian John Kobal, whose foundation is putting up a collection of his salvaged Hollywood prints in the Norton Museum. Youll know some of them: Theres Rita Hayworth in a silken gown, expelling a jet stream of cigarette smoke, a fur coat slipping out of her hand onto the floor, a sly cast to her eyes. Others are less well-known: Particularly entrancing is a picture of Marilyn Monroe sitting on a cement curb, lighting a cigarette in a long holder, with a book, The Body Thinks, by her side. There are 94 fascinating photographs in all original gelatin silver prints.
Tuesdays-Sundays. Starts: Dec. 14. Continues through March 6, 2010