Photo of Marilyn Monroe
Photo of Marilyn Monroe
Gentlemen Prefer Blondes © 1953 and 2015 Twentieth Century Fox

As the exclusive higher education partner of the Bendigo Art Gallery and Murray Art Museum Albury (MAMA), La Trobe University is pleased to offer this exciting, fully accredited elective subject to all La Trobe undergraduate students and members of the broader public who would like to learn more about Marilyn Monroe’s life and legacy.

The subject will be taught by senior curators, academic staff from La Trobe University and guest lecturers.

In conjunction with the exhibitions’ unique displays of artworks, photography, textiles and personal items, leading La Trobe scholars and industry experts will guide participants in an exploration of the Marilyn phenomenon through the lenses of history, politics, fashion, cinema, visual arts, psychology, gender relations and the law.

Members of the general public are invited to attend and may register for either one or both weekends.

About the subject

Norma Jeane Baker eagerly embarked upon her Cinderella transformation into Marilyn Monroe through strategically using her looks. The camera loved her and she loved the camera. Her dream of being a great star came true – in her lifetime and beyond. Being Marilyn, however, did not bring the fulfilment, contentment, and security the dream had seemed to promise. Why not? Was Hollywood to blame? The Kennedys? 1950s conservatism? The circumstances of her childhood? The double-edged sword of celebrity?

In addressing questions such as these the “Exhibiting Culture: Marilyn” will explore the Marilyn phenomenon through the a number of lenses, including those provided by history, politics, fashion, cinema and the visual arts, psychology, gender relations and law.

Students will have the opportunity to enjoy access to Bendigo Art Gallery’s Bendigo Art Gallery and Twentieth Century Fox present Marilyn Monroe exhibition and to the Murray Art Museum Albury’s exhibition Marilyn: Celebrating an American Icon. Leading La Trobe scholars and other experts will guide participants through a comparative exploration of the exhibitions.

This subject will be taught over two weekends (including the Friday evenings) – the first in Bendigo and the second in Albury – embedding participants in these unique exhibitions, as researchers, critics, creative artists, and writers. It will also have additional learning support available online until the end of the semester.

Click here for further information, enrolment and general public registration.


Friday 15 – Sunday 17 April (Bendigo)

Friday 29 April – Sunday 1 May 2016 (Albury)

For more information please contact:

Jennifer Uren, Administrator – La Trobe Art Institute, College of Arts, Social Sciences and Commerce,

T: +61 3 5444 7969 | E: