Montreal·Cinq à six

Montreal museum honours photographer who took iconic shot of Marilyn Monroe, JFK

Now in his 80s, George Zimbel is the subject of a new exhibition at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts showcasing decades of documentary photography.

Montreal Museum of Fine Arts shows work of George Zimbel, photographer behind the lens of many iconic photos

George Zimbel shot some of the most iconic images of Hollywood starlet Marilyn Monroe. (George Zimbel)

George Zimbel has been taking photographs for 70 years.

Some of those are political — his shots of President Harry Truman reveal a smart, considerate politician.

His photo of President John F. Kennedy and wife Jackie in a convertible captures a smiling first lady looking back over her shoulder.

In another series, Zimbel catches the determination of a young boy winding up to throw a pitch.

And of course Zimbel is also known for his photos of Marilyn Monroe with her white skirt billowing like a flower around those shapely legs on the set of The Creature From the Black Lagoon.

George Zimbel took this photo of President John F. Kennedy and First Lady Jackie Kennedy in the early 1960s. (George Zimbel)

A new exhibition featuring Zimbel's photos opened earlier this week at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. It's called George S. Zimbel: A Humanist Photographer

The museum also showed an advance screening of a new documentary, Zimbelism, by Zimbel's son Matt and documentary maker and photographer, Jean-François Gratton.

Zimbel moved from the US to P.E.I. in 1971, where he and his family farmed for 10 years before moving to Montreal.

Zimbel, his son Matt and Gratton talk to Cinq à six host, Jeanette Kelly Saturday, Sept. 12 at 5 p.m. on CBC Radio One. 


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.