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OPENING: Jon Crispin’s Willard Suitcases @ The Mahler Fine Art

The Willard Suitcases:  A collection by Massachusetts-based photographer Jon Crispin

Imagine you were being sent away to a mental institution, something that happened frequently through the twentieth century to people with maladies ranging from depression to severe psychiatric illness.

What would you bring with you?

That’s a question answered by photographs of hundreds of patient suitcases, some stored more than eighty years at upstate New York’s Willard Psychiatric Center with their contents intact. These silent testimonials were forgotten until the hospital’s decommissioning, when the suitcases were discovered in the attic.

Since 2011, Jon Crispin has been lovingly and meticulously documenting the cases, the contents of which tell silent stories of the lives patients left behind and the hopes and fears they brought with them.

Crispin and his photographs of the Willard Suitcases are being brought to Raleigh by North Carolina Health News as part of an event, Lives on the Hill.

The Mahler Fine Art

228 Fayetteville Street

Raleigh, NC