Saturday, November 10, 2012

What Would You Take: The Ephemera of Sanity

Lost within the cold embrace of the now-abandoned Willard Asylum for the Chronic Insane were scores of trunks and suitcases belonging to patients who had passed away without anyone caring. In 1995, as Willard closed its doors, employees discovered these odd time capsules and passed them over to the New York State Museum, which has created a permanent collection where visitors can glimpse not only the insanity of these patients, but more importantly their humanity.


To me, as a writer, I am very intrigued by the case of a Dmytre, a Ukranian man with a penchant for higher mathematics and a curious story about being arrested by the Secret Service for claiming to be the husband of President Truman's daughter. What a curious thing. Was this all he did? If so, why would the Secret Service arrest him and lock him up in an asylum? It seems like there is WAY more to his story and that gets my gears spinning!

You can read more about this interesting collection and the man who photographed it at Collectors Weekly.

1 comment:

Autumnforest said...

Oh my gosh!! I have an ongoing nighttime dream of finding a place like that with suitcases and figuring out the people by the contents of their suitcases. So cool.