20. September 2019 - 12. January 2020
Douglas Kirkland: "An Evening with Marilyn" & "Coco Chanel - Three Weeks"

Coco Chanel in ihrem Atelier, 31 Rue Cambon, Paris, 1962 ©Douglas Kirkland/Photo Op
Coco Chanel in ihrem Atelier, 31 Rue Cambon, Paris, 1962. Foto: Douglas Kirkland
©Douglas Kirkland/Photo Op
One photographer, two extraordinary women and icons of photography

The great celebrities in film, show, and music business – American photographer Douglas Kirkland (*1934) had most of them in front of his camera: Sting, Mick Jagger, John Lennon, Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, Brigitte Bardot, Marlene Dietrich, Romy Schneider, to name a few, but also Marilyn Monroe and Coco Chanel.
Marilyn Monroe, Hollywood, 1961 © Douglas Kirkland/Photo Op
Marilyn Monroe, Hollywood, 1961. Foto: Douglas Kirkland
© Douglas Kirkland/Photo Op

When he was 24, Kirkland started his career as Staff Photographer for the US-magazine Look, where the focus was on high quality photographs. In 1961, "Look" sent him to take a photograph of Marilyn Monroe for the edition celebrating the magazine's 25th anniversary. The series taken on "the most memorable evening" of his life brought instant fame for the young photographer. Marilyn Monroe decided how she would be photographed, a process Kirkland appreciated. Marilyn wanted silk, white silk over her body, she wanted to listen to Frank Sinatra, and she wanted a sip of Dom Pérignon. She would die just one year later. Marilyn selected the photographs. And whatever she signed off on from this series is presented in the Stadthaus exhibition.

Coco Chanel auf einem Foto von Douglas Kirkland, 1962
Coco Chanel, 1962. Foto: Douglas Kirkland
© Douglas Kirkland/Photo OP

A year later, in 1962, Kirkland worked for "Look" in Paris. For three weeks, he accompanied Coco Chanel, followed her with his camera as she left her suite at the Ritz, photographed her in her apartment, at Studio 31 in the Rue Cambon and during a fashion show. His series presents the 79-year-old fashion icon at work: amused, flirtatious, professional, friendly, young, full of energy.

Douglas Kirkland travelled to Greece, Lebanon and Japan. He worked as a set photographer on more than 100 film productions. The fact that Kirkland received numerous awards throughout his long career seem almost self-evident. Today, the photographer who will celebrate his 85th birthday just one month before the exhibitions opens, lives in Los Angeles.

Opening: Thursday, 19 September 2019, 7 – 9 p.m.

Project management: Dr. Raimund Kast

Guided Tour, Prosecco & Film

Sun, 22 September
5 pm: Guided tour with Dr. Raimund Kast
6:30 pm: Manche mögen's heiß/Some Like it Hot (German)
Film classic by Billy Wilder with Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon


Sun, 24 November
5 pm: Guided tour with Dr. Raimund Kast
6:30 pm: The Wars of Coco Chanel, (OV)

Arte-documentary, France 2018

Guided tour: 3,50 €; Children 1,50 € (second child of the family 0,50 €)
Film: 6 €

Package price: Guided tour + 1 glass of prosecco + film: € 10
Registration until Friday noon: 0731 161 7700 or


for kids

Sa, 21 Sept, 4-6 pm "Kulturnacht" for the whole family
Sa, 16 Nov, 11 am-1 pm

Making a magazine cover
We‘ll create covers with our favourite stars! Free workshop with Katrin Strazzeri.
Registration: 0731 161 7700 or @email


Die Ausstellung wird organisiert in Zusammenarbeit mit Photo Op.

Mit freundlicher Unterstützung durch Lotto Baden-Württemberg, die Museumsgesellschaft Ulm e.V. und Gold Ochsen