Pre-fame Madonna nudes go on show in London


June 18, 2010 Updated Oct 12, 2010 at 5:07 PM EDT

Nude photographs of pop icon Madonna taken before she became a worldwide star are set to go on display at an exhibition in London on Thursday.

Madonna posed for the black and whites at the age of 20, when she was modelling in New York to pay her way through dancing school and seeking her first big break in the music business.

She was paid just 30 dollars in 1979 -- worth about 90 dollars (65 euros) today -- for the intimate pictures, which include her confidently lounging nude on a chair for New York-based photographer Martin Schreiber.

After she became a star, Schreiber sold the photographs, which he took while teaching a photography course, to Playboy magazine which published them in 1985 -- three years after her first single "Everybody" came out.

"Basically she was a model. She was hired for this photo session by Martin who was teaching photography to his students. She was no-one then," said exhibition organiser Jamie McCartney, a London gallery owner.

"So these are probably some of the last images ever taken before she was really in control of her own image. It was during this time that she probably learnt how to really use her sexuality to her advantage."

The show, which has travelled to other European cities including Prague and Amsterdam, opens just days before Madonna performs in London and Manchester as part of her Sticky and Sweet world tour.

Exhibition organisers expect the photographs to be snapped up by collectors and Madonna fans, with prices starting at 3,200 pounds (3,700 euros, 5,300 dollars).

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