Artwork & Writing > A Tale of Two Obsessions: David C. Nolan & Marilyn Monroe and Arline Conradt & the Cat Scrapbook, 2011 - 2013

David C. Nolan and Arline Conradt’s collections embody masculine and feminine desires through memorabilia long before the digital age. They were interested in culture via celebrity and advertising yet they were also repressed. A Tale of Two Obsessions... explores my interest in one man and one woman’s fascination with the found image, their methods of archiving and organization, and the perversity of their actions.

Until recently, Nolan’s photographs of Marilyn Monroe were stored in a safety deposit box, acquired for $5 at an antique store in the 1980s. For several years, members of my family believed that Nolan was the photographer, but the true creators are Earl Theisen, Bert Riesfeld, and countless others who photographed films like The Seven Year Itch for publicity. After the completion of these images, I posted them online and have since learned that Nolan owned roughly 300,000 photographs of women in various states of undress. He retreated to his basement where he labeled his collection, wrote captions on each photograph, and stored them in thousands of cardboard boxes. After his death, his wife, horrified at this trove, gave them away to the first person that would remove them from the house. They gradually circulated along the West Coast and 29 ended up in my family’s hands in Boise, Idaho.

David C. Nolan & Marilyn Monroe 1
Archival Inkjet Print
19" x 13"
2011
David C. Nolan & Marilyn Monroe 6
Archival Inkjet Print
19" x 13"
2011
David C. Nolan & Marilyn Monroe 8
Archival Inkjet Print
19" x 13"
2011
David C. Nolan & Marilyn Monroe 10
Archival Inkjet Print
19" x 13"
2011
David C. Nolan & Marilyn Monroe 17
Archival Inkjet Print
19" x 13"
2011
David C. Nolan & Marilyn Monroe 28
Archival Inkjet Print
19" x 13"
2011
Arline Conradt & the Cat Scrapbook
Archival Inkjet Prints & Found Scrapbook Covers
12" x 18" x 3"
2012
Dear Arline, Thinking of You...
Archival Inkjet Print & Found Cat Claws
5" x 7"
2013
Dear Arline, Thinking of you... (Detail)
Found cat claws, Archival Inkjet Print
4" x 6"
Contemporary Response to Arline's Cat Scrapbook
Artist's Book
17" x 14" x 2.5"
2013
Contemporary Cat Scrapbook Detail
Artist's Book
17" x 14" x 2.5"
2013
Contemporary Cat Scrapbook Detail
Artist's Book
17" x 14" x 2.5"
2013
Contemporary Cat Scrapbook Detail
Artist's Book
17" x 14" x 2.5"
2013
Contemporary Cat Scrapbook Addendum Detail
Artist's Book
17" x 14" x 2.5"
2013