Norm Diamond

What is Left Behind
Stories from Estate Sales

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.

Diamond 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.

Norm Diamond, No Reception

No Reception, 2016
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.

Norm Diamond, Wedding Night Negligee

Wedding Night Negligee, 2015
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.”

Norm Diamond, Cowboy Songs

Cowboy Songs, 2016
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.

Norm Diamond, Marilyn Puzzle

Marilyn Puzzle, 2015
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.

Norm Diamond, Everything Must Go

Everything Must Go, 2015
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.

Norm Diamond, Stetsons and Old Spice

Stetsons and Old Spice, 2016
I would not find a closet like this anywhere but in Texas.

Norm Diamond, LBJ with Fishhooks

LBJ with Fishhooks, 2015
I bought the dish and fishhooks the same day. They made an interesting juxtaposition that hints at an aspect of LBJ’s personality.

Norm Diamond, Yellow Airplane

Yellow Airplane, 2015
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 responsible party.

Norm Diamond, Off Limits

Off Limits, 2016
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 discourage consideration.

Norm Diamond, Sewing Table

Sewing Table, 2015
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 housework.

Norm Diamond, Tape Measure

Tape Measure, 2016
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.

Norm Diamond

China Painting Palette, 2016
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…

Norm Diamond, Wedding Dress

Wedding Dress, 2015
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
10 x 10 inches

Beautifully printed!

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