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Actress Marilyn Monroe is seen in an image from a collection of previously unpublished photos of her in Alberta, taken in the summer of 1953.HO

In the summer of 1953, life was looking up for Marilyn Monroe.

Her iconic star-turn in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, released that July, garnered great reviews and strong ticket sales. Legendary baseball player Joe DiMaggio, who had nine World Series wins and three MVP titles under his belt, was courting her.

Cast in River of No Return, an Otto Preminger-helmed Western, she travelled to the Canadian Rockies to film. That August, while shooting a scene in the river, Ms. Monroe injured her ankle and retired to the Banff Springs Hotel to recuperate.

John Vachon, a Look magazine photographer sent to shoot the set, took about 200 photos of the 27-year-old actress as she recovered at the hotel and toured the town, gaining unusual access to the star.

Just two of these made it into the magazine; the others were stowed away for over half a century. More than 100 of the images have been collected into Marilyn, August 1953, a book published this week.

In one photo, she waves to the camera from an open, one-seat chairlift, suspended high over the evergreen-covered valley; in another, she poses with a stuffed grizzly bear in what is believed to be Banff's Indian Trading Post store; in others, she snuggles with Mr. DiMaggio, whom she would marry the following year, in front of a window looking out onto a mountain vista.

"I think John Vachon was doing everything to show Marilyn as a person, as a real woman," said Chris Kuppig, publisher of Calla Editions, which is issuing the book.

The photos are believed to be the only time Mr. DiMaggio agreed to a posed photo shoot with her. They are also an unusual part of the oeuvre of Mr. Vachon, who is best known for his gritty portraits of poor Americans during the Depression.

When Look folded in 1971, the magazine's archives were turned over to the Library of Congress. In the 1990s, then-Smithsonian employee Amy Pastan was shown one of the Look photos by Mr. Vachon's daughter while the two were collaborating on a collection of some of his work. Years later, while working for Calla, she mentioned the photo shoot to Mr. Kuppig and they dug them out of the archives.

"When I saw these photos, I could get a sense of why she had this magnetic pull," Ms. Pastan said. "I thought it was a blast what I was seeing - it wasn't the Marilyn who was all made up for the camera. It was spontaneous, she was having fun."

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