Norma Jeane’s Photo-Booth ‘Selfie’ at Sotheby’s

A photo-booth snapshot of the young Norma Jeane Baker will go under the hammer at Sotheby’s New York next Monday, May 1st. A gift to a relative, this tiny self-portrait previously fetched $18,750 at Swann Auction Galleries in 2014.

“The photo booth photograph offered here, showing a bright-eyed and fresh-faced Norma Jeane Baker (later known to the world as Marilyn Monroe), was likely taken before 1942, when she married James Dougherty at the age of 16. Coin-operated photo booths were introduced in New York City in the mid-1920s, and by only a few years later they had spread throughout the country. For only a few cents, the photo booth provided anyone the opportunity to be a model, with the bright strobes reminiscent of the pops of paparazzi flashbulbs.

Just 15 years later, Richard Avedon, himself also obsessed with photo booths, had one delivered to his studio for the creation of a spread in Esquire Magazine called 25c a Celebrity. Marilyn Monroe appeared in the feature, confidently modeling in the nude, now fully embracing the blonde bombshell persona she had created for herself by the end of the 1950s.”

UPDATE: The Norma Jeane photo was sold for $27,940, more than double the $12,000 estimate.