A little known gallery in Oxfordshire was thrown into the media spotlight when exhibition organisers realised they had their hands on what they claim are previously unpublished photographs of Marilyn Monroe.

Billed as a ?quiet haven for art lovers? the Meller Gallery in Witney had only been open for four months when owners were handed eight b&w portraits of the film icon captured by photojournalist Eve Arnold which had not been seen before in public.

Quick to seize the publicity potential gallery staff soon found themselves at the centre of a media frenzy, even though we understand that the pictures were also made available to various other UK galleries at the same time.

Commenting on her shots of the movie legend, Eve – now 94 – said: ?She trusted me and she was a joy to photograph. She liked my pictures and was canny enough to realise that they were a fresh approach to presenting her.?

The series includes Monroe relaxing at home, on a plane, in bed and on the set of the film The Misfits in 1960.

The images display Monroe?s ?human characteristics of sadness, loneliness and girlish naivety,’ said a gallery spokeswoman.

The show runs until Christmas Eve.

The photographs of Monroe are available to buy in a limited edition of 495. Framed they cost £295 each, according to the gallery which can be found at 55 Market Square, Witney, Oxfordshire. For details call 01993 708606.

A book has also been launched to accompany the collection.

For details visit www.washingtongreen.co.uk/

Picture credit: Eve Arnold/Magnum Photos