Tag Archives: Mary Ellen Mark

Ward 81

posted by:  Sam

A friend of mine recently loaned me an incredible book called, Ward 81.  The way she described the book to me gave me goosebumps, and actually seeing it left me breathless.  The photography is a little unnerving at times, and a little voyeuristic… but unbelievably beautiful.  Thank you, Marcia!

In 1976 two women spent thirty-six days inside Ward 81 at the Oregon State Hospital.  The same mental institution where One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest was filmed.  Mary Ellen Mark was initially at the hospital on assignment to write a magazine article on the making of the film.   During her time there, she met some of the women of Ward 81.   This inspired her to return with social scientist/writer friend Karen Folger Jacobs and live in the secured ward.  A very brave move, considering the ward was the only locked ladies unit in the facility and the women inside were considered dangerous.  Not only to themselves, but to others as well.

Thank God they survived; had they not, we may have never had the opportunity to reward our eyes with these gorgeous shots.

Since I am completely obsessed with YouTube… I have to share this music video from garage rockers The Fuzztones; appropriately titled… wait for it…

Ward 81.

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