October 19, 2020 at 3:07 pm EDT | by Michael Key
Restoring ‘Marilyn’
Salon Roi founder Roi Barnard speaks in front of the newly restored ‘Marilyn’ mural in the Woodley Park neighborhood of N.W. Washington.

City officials joined local business owners at the corner of Connecticut Avenue and Calvert Street on Saturday to celebrate the restoration of the iconic public art installation ‘Marilyn.’

The Marilyn Monroe mural on the third story of Salon Roi was originally painted in 1981 by the late artist John Bailey. The restoration was commissioned by Woodley Park Main Street and was completed by regional artist Kevin “Jazi” Irvin.

Former owner of Salon Roi, Roi Barnard, 82, received the mural as a 40th birthday present from his late partner, Charles Stinson.

“I’ve loved Marilyn Monroe from the time I was 12 years old,” Barnard told the gathered crowd. “And in 1970 when Charles and I were just getting our foothold in Woodley Park, when we first came here we were extremely flamboyant. One by one, Charles and I won over the people of Woodley Park.”

The Blade featured Barnard in “Salon Roi entrepreneur Roi Barnard reflects on five decades in business” in 2019.

The mural, long a staple image in Woodley Park, had become weathered over time and was in dire need of refurbishment. The mural has been brought back to its former glory as a gateway signpost welcoming passersby into the commercial and residential district.

Entrepreneur Roi Barnard is joined by D.C. Council member Mary Cheh (D-Ward 3), on left, and others at a press conference celebrating the restoration of the ‘Marilyn’ mural. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)
‘Marilyn’ restored. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

Michael Key has worked as a photojournalist for the Washington Blade since 2009 and is currently serving as the photo editor. He has worked on Capitol Hill, in the White House, on the campaign trail and in cities along the East Coast taking iconic photos documenting the extension of marriage benefits to same-sex couples, the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," and other events of interest to the LGBT community. Follow Michael

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