Blue Earth
Glazer's Camera

Bankruptcy Brings Accord to Monroe Estate


In order to pull itself out of Chapter 11 bankruptcy, the Shaw Family Archives (SFA) has agreed to a 5-year, $3 million licensing deal estate of Marilyn Monroe.

Under the agreement, the Monroe estate would be able to commercially license hundreds of Monroe images shot by the late photographer Sam Shaw, as well as other photos from Shaw's collection including John Wayne, Sophia Loren, Marlon Brando and Audrey Hepburn.

The Shaw estate, however, would retain the right to license the Monroe photos for editorial licensing, fine art and exhibition purposes.

During the 1950s and 60s, Shaw, who was a personal friend of Monroe, took many iconic images of Monroe, including the immortal blowing skirt image from the set of "Seven Year Itch."

Ironically, the SFA was forced into bankruptcy largely by $1 million in unpaid legal bills that have accumulated while fighting the Monroe estate, as well as other users, for control of the photographs.