Monday, May 16, 2011

Marilyn Monroe & David C. Nolan Part 2 (May's Research)

Marilyn Monroe by Frank Powolny, 1952

Yesterday I discovered the source of every Marilyn photograph in Nolan's collection and in some cases, even the photographer. My family thought that Nolan may have been the cameraman but that is not the case. James suggested he may be the publicist (or an archivist of some form) which is more convincing. I am still certain he was a (fill in the blank with words equivalent to lonely, lustful, etc.) man living in an apartment in Haight-Ashbury. I also like Drew's assessment that he was a baseball fan because of some of the material written on back of the photographs reads and is written like sports statistics.

I went back to IMDB and looked up all 600 photographs of Marilyn Monroe starting with movies she starred in prior to 1955 (thinking David C. wouldn't have stamped the photographs "1955" if they were released after that date). There were several groups that were easy to find. These are the images (taken in a fluorescent lit room with the i-Phone) from his collection from The Seven Year Itch as discussed in the previous post:

Another Seven Year Itch original publicity photo:

... and the cropped one from David C. Nolan's collection:

Here is a publicity still from Asphalt Jungle, 1950, and Nolan's photographs of the same:

Early Theisen's photographs of Marilyn in front of a plain studio backdrop were also easy to pinpoint. Here are two versions of the USS Henley t-shirt from Google and the one in Nolan's collection:

Incidentally Theisen was also the photographer of this image of Marilyn that my father had a reproduction of (hello Idaho potatoes). It appears as if it was taken during the same photo shoot (same hair style, same background):

From here on, it was a lot harder to find the original sources. I went through every single page (hundreds) of Google images until I found Marilyn wearing the same sweater that I recognized in one of the photographs in Nolan's collection. It was photographed in Canada so back to IMDB to find that The River of No Return was also filmed there.

I also discovered this book published last fall by John Vachon of little known Marilyn Monroe photographs taken during the filming of The River of No Return so I put it on interlibrary loan.

Here's to hoping there are more images like this inside the book:

After perusing Nolan's collection, the mountains were a common denominator as were Marilyn's striped shoes that she wore in both the sweater and short sleeved shirt photo shoots.

These are also common publicity photographs for The River of No Return though I never would have associated them with the outdoor photographs. Frank Powolny took these photographs (as he did the famous image at the top of this post).

My powers of photographic description were tested in the next three groups. What color
was this outfit from Nolan's collection?

At least the decorations were helpful in recognizing that it could be related to Bert Riesfeld's promo image for How to Marry a Millionaire from 1953.

The swimsuit ended up being red. I wonder where the image from Nolan's collection was photographed with the curtains in the background. I found nothing like this with any of the publicity photographs taken for that film.

I spent the longest amount of time trying to deduce where this group of images came from. I have long thought they are the worst in Nolan's collection - they are distant photographs and Marilyn is a secondary subject.
After typing in "Marilyn Monroe Fur Coat," "Marilyn Monroe Fur Wrap," "Marilyn Monroe White Dress" and coming up with nothing, I plugged in the sign in the background of the image on the top row, third from left, and discovered it was a TWA slogan. "Marilyn Monroe Airport" proved to be the winner and brought up a trove of images of her flying in from LA to Idlewild Airport in NYC for the filming of The Seven Year Itch.

Sam Schulman took the photograph that answered the question of where Marilyn was surrounded by all these men:

The angle is slightly different from the one in Nolan's collection (and I couldn't tell that she was sitting next to an airplane due to the crop):

Weegee was even there (again)!

This photo was the most difficult to find out of them all! It's hard to guess whether that is a black dress and "Marilyn Monroe V-neck black dress and sash" and "Marilyn Monroe singing" was not pulling up anything. Then I typed in "Marilyn Monroe Hoop Earrings" and ...

... this appeared.

"Marilyn Monroe" in quotes actually pulled up this photograph around page 87 under my Google search which finally resulted in a match.... There's No Business Like Show Business from 1954.

That sash was blue.

I am positive that any Marilyn Monroe connoisseur would not have taken 3 hours to discover where these photographs came from (and in a lot of cases who took them). I'm so happy a tiny mystery was solved. David C. Nolan was NOT the photographer!


  1. Ahhhh! This is quite exciting.

  2. I feel like it is a real breakthrough! I don't even need to know who David C. Nolan is anymore. I just want to see where he wrote these statements on the back.

  3. José Miguel Rojas GonzálezJune 1, 2011 at 8:29 AM

    ¡¡¡D I V I N A !!!! Me encanta Mariyn Monroe. Adoro sus películas, son bellas fotografías.

  4. Madonna has attempted erase Marilyn. Name and
    image replace her concepts. World only identified
    Marilyn anyhow. Elated estate release unpublished:
    photo's. Now for those saying I'm slanderous. Madonna stole Marilyn image without. Acknowledging it only saying she emulate once. Vanity Fair April 1991 only time? For those curious watch,,Mad-eyes-net,, and Why you compare my comments Madonna stole. From Marilyn and Jayne still originals better. Glad preview this blog thanks!

  5. Concur as they, say" thanks for memories. Regarding Madonna, I felt she used Marilyn's.
    Popularity to be remembered herself just. Assumption Milton Greene estate is about release.
    Unpublished photo's Marilyn 1953-1961 never been.
    Scene eager to preview I'm Marilyn fan. Madonna
    tried almost to get the sex goddest popularity.
    Simply watch the awards Andrew Lloyd Weber 1991.
    Marilyn hairstyle and makeup, Truth or Dare another rip off. Marilyn 1950-1956 and Vanity Fair Dec 1986 attempting. Marilyn 1955-56 and
    Life magazine Dec 1986. Same poses as Marilyn
    even used. Marilyn photographers as Richard Avedon and Bert Stern. Marilyn immortal never duplicated Beauty Queen! Madonna attitude for
    emulating, and actually judge what.
    Period did Madonna steal deny Marilyn influence.
    Forgotten watch Who's That Girl Tour costumes.
    Marilyn's Bus Stop and River No Return even hairstyles when does it ever stop! Marilyn image
    reigns and shall continue. Enlightment of Beauty!

  6. Since the demise, old Hollywood Blond. Role hasn't regain popularity reason. Liberal women independent in gender abilities. Romantic era 50's ultra conservative no doubt. Marilyn was icon during this era only live beyond. The 60's Marilyn legacy would have matured. Always had industry executives, behind her. Readers some additional: on Marilyn and Jayne Mansfield. Whom Madonna stole ever image possible.,, excellent photo's Marilyn n Jayne. allot pictures of Marilyn n Jayne., photo of Marilyn and Jayne together at party.,
    quality pictures of Marilyn and Jayne. best site for Marilyn fans. Rare photo's depress the years many more. And links to era photographers with memberships. extensive photos great
    actress. Detail last the least Ms. CopyCat What prior discuss artist need respect. Originality not duplicate!

  7. Hi, I believe the three photos of Marilyn in the swim suit must have also been photographed by Theisen. If you see more photos of her in the potato sack she is leaning against the same post and wearing the same shoes. It was probably a separate session as her hair is much lighter in the latter photos.


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