Norm Diamond (b. 1948) photographed estate sales around Dallas, Texas for over a year. This poignant work has been shown in various venues and has been published by Daylight Books in a monograph titled What Is Left Behind — Stories from Estate Sales.
is a full-time fine art photographer after having a career in
interventional radiology. He has studied with Debbie Fleming Caffery,
Keith Carter, Arno Minkkinen, and has been mentored by Cig Harvey since
2013. (Links to articles: Texas Monthly, The Dallas Morning News, and Lenscratch.)
All archival ink pigment prints are 15 x 20 inches (38 x 51 cm.) in size, in an edition of 12, and they sell for $700 matted.
|Old televisions are a staple of
estate sales. I had bought this one months before, not knowing how I
would photograph it. It came time to recarpet our son’s bedroom. In
preparation we had to empty the room completely. In the five minutes
between removal of the old carpet and placement of the new one, the
room took on an eerie starkness. I brought the TV into the room,
plugged it in, got on the floor, and made five or six exposures.
|At one of the earliest sales I
attended, I was struck by the light and the nostalgia of this scene. At
the same house I photographed “Wedding Dress.”
|Vinyl records long ago came in
multiple colors. In my house Roy Rogers lived on a red 78 rpm and sang
“Rock Candy Mountain” over and over on one of those record players that
looked like a carrying case.
|This is one of two photographs I
made outside of Dallas. I purchased this puzzle at an estate sale in
Rockport, Maine. The price sticker of fifty cents is a bit hard to see
in the image. This was the least expensive of all the items I purchased
during the year-long project.
|Pre-demolition sales are a
subset of estate sales. All the personal possessions in these homes
have already been sold. Builders, craftsmen, and interested remodelers
now pay to take away wood floors, appliances, bathroom fixtures, window
treatments, and anything else that can be cut out and carried off.
|I would not find a closet like this anywhere but in Texas.
|I bought the dish and fishhooks
the same day. They made an interesting juxtaposition that hints at an
aspect of LBJ’s personality.
|When I went to pay for this
plane, the woman running the sale said its little motor and propeller
had been stolen. She was quite perturbed because she planned to sell it
for more than the five dollars I paid for it. I swore I was not the
|The companies that run sales
place tape across doors and door jambs to prevent buyers from entering
certain rooms. They especially frown on customers using the bathrooms,
so they stack many bulky items around and on top of the toilet seats to
|This blue can was originally an
Eastman Kodak film canister that had been painted dark blue and hand
lettered. In 1956 it was no doubt a loving, utilitarian Mother’s Day
gift at a time when clothes were repaired rather than discarded. Today
no one would give a Mother’s Day present that suggests mom do more
|When I took this home and pulled
out the tape measure, it did not stop at the end and instead completely
separated from the metal housing that contained it. To avoid confusion,
I stuck it back into the canister before I photographed. The person who
owned this tape measure was, as my father would say, “salt of the
earth.” And much of the earth made it onto the tape measure.
|I photograph exclusively in
color so naturally I was drawn to this $8 item, and fascinated by the
names of some of the colors: Albert yellow, apricot blush, bakers brown…
|This comes from the same estate
sale as “Wedding Night Negligee.” This photograph has been shown in two
separate shows at the Griffin Museum of Photography outside of Boston.
What is Left Behind
Stories from Estate Sales
Published by Daylight Books
112 pages, 66 photographs
10¼ x 10¼ inches
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