Milton Greene was born in New York City in 1922 and was no stranger to the photographic medium in a time where photography was becoming a deeply informative photojournalistic as well as a highly celebrated editorial practice. After winning a scholarship at Pratt University, Greene became an apprentice to photo journalist Elliot Elisofen, and later assisted Diana Vreeland’s, Louise Dahl-Wolfe of Harper’s Bazaar.
Greene’s ability to capture his subjects with flawless integrity was a skill uniquely his; keen direction without contrivance allowed countless musicians, artists, actors, and celebrities to be captured effortlessly on camera. A lifetime of work building such a portfolio archived the many faceted personalities of the fifties and sixties, widely circulated in publications such as Life, Harper’s Bazaar, and Vogue Magazine. Along with celebrities such as Grace Kelly, Frank Sinatra, Judy Garland, and Alfred Hitchcock, Greene developed his notoriety from his body of work around America’s classic iconic sweetheart, Marilyn Monroe. The two cultivated a close friendship after Green photographed Monroe for an editorial assignment with Look magazine, which engendered a business partnership. They together formed Marilyn Monroe Productions, a film production company that would go on to produce Monroe’s films such as Bus Stop (1956), The Prince and the Showgirl (1957). While Monroe lived in New York City studying acting under teacher and director Lee Strasberg, Monroe stayed with Greene and his family in Connecticut on their farmhouse during which time Green arranged some 53 photography shoots of his iconic subject. This included the infamous, “The Black Sitting” coined by Time Life Inc. to include one of the three most popular images of the 20th century.
Milton Greene died in 1985, however, his photographs, prints, and posters continue to be published and exhibited in major catalogues, museums, and galleries as well as highly represented in many private collections. Milton H. Greene´s breadth of work has been preserved and celebrated in remembrance of his life, and the lives he so well captured.