Chuck Caplinger’s “Tribute to Marilyn” mural, an 8-foot by 3-1/2-foot oil on canvas (on panel), was featured at the Hollywood Entertainment Museum in a month-long exhibit entitled Happy Birthday, Marilyn (in honor of the late star’s 75th birthday celebration), which opened June 1, 2001. The mural remained in the Hollywood Entertainment Museum’s conference room, hanging on loan from Caplinger’s Desert Art Studio, until 2006 when it returned to the hi-desert for an exhibit at A Roadside Attraction Gallery in Twentynine Palms, Oct. 14 through Dec. 9, 2006, entitled “Marilyn Visits the Morongo Basin.” This exhibit by Caplinger also included a new and complementary series of retrospective paintings of Marilyn Monroe, reflecting the life of the late star and the cultural ideals of the period.
The Marilyn Monroe exhibition at Hollywood Entertainment Museum in June 2001 was the largest and most ambitious the museum had ever organized in its history. A press preview was staged the day before the grand opening, attracting a coterie of local, national and international film crews, photographers, and reporters from around the world.
Chuck Caplinger’s painting, “Tribute to Marilyn,” was a highlight of the exhibition and was featured prominently in publicity for the event, as well as in photographs and press coverage. Caplinger’s mural was also reproduced (in parts) and used as MTA bus banner ads in Los Angeles, promoting the Marilyn Monroe 75th Birthday exhibit at Hollywood Entertainment Museum.