Douglas Kirkland, courtesy of the Palos Verdes Art Center
Now 84, the Toronto-born photographer Douglas Kirkland has spent six decades photographing the most famous faces of the era. There’s arguably only one, though, who he has to thank for that: Marilyn Monroe, who asked Kirkland to photograph her wearing only a white silk sheet in bed in 1961, which tragically turned out to have been nine months before her death. After recovering from the shock, Kirkland, on the other hand, was just getting started: The very next year, when he was still in his mid-twenties, his shoot with Monroe paved the way for him to spend three weeks with Coco Chanel. (Though even in that time span, whether in Versailles or at her apartment in the Ritz, he apparently never saw her remove her hat.) From there follows a seemingly endless list of icons—Sophia Loren, Grace Jones, Audrey Hepburn, and Brigitte Bardot among them—all of whom can be found in the retrospective exhibition “Douglas Kirkland,” which is now on view at the Palos Verdes Art Center in California, through April 21, 2019. Take a look at the scenes inside, including Bardot playing cards, Hepburn modeling Hermès, and Loren hanging out with Charlie Chaplin on set, here.