26-Foot Marilyn Monroe Unveiled On Mag Mile | NBC Chicago

26-Foot Marilyn Monroe Unveiled On Mag Mile

The new sculpture was unveiled Friday and will tower over Pioneer Court until Spring 2012



    Artist Seward Johnson's new Pioneer Court sculpture was unveiled Friday morning. Surprise -- it's Marilyn.

    It's true, Chicago. The top half of the "mysterious" 26-foot sculpture on Michigan Avenue was unveiled Friday to be Marilyn Monroe.

    There was speculation earlier this week about whether the iconic legs -- complete with flowing skirt blown up by a subway grate -- belonged to the Hollywood starlet. And the realty group that commissioned the Pioneer Court instillation was tight-lipped about her identity.

    Friday morning's unveiling of New Jersey based artist Seward Johnson's new sculpture confirmed suspicions. Marilyn will strike her closed-eye, classic pose until Spring of 2012.

    Downtown workers and tourists probably remember Johnson for his large, "American Gothic"-inspired sculpture, titled "God Bless America," in the same Pioneer Court location in 2008. The following year, a sculpture depicting Shakespeare's King Lear took the spot.

    Why another Johnson piece in the visible space?

    "His art starts a conversation," said Melissa Farrell, an executive assistant for Zeller Realty Group. "People love it or hate it, but they're talking about it."