Ward 81

Front Cover
Damiani, 2008 - Medical - 111 pages
1 Review
In 1975, photographer Mary Ellen Mark was assigned by The Pennsylvania Gazetteto produce a story on the making of Milos Forman's film of Ken Kesey's 1962 novel One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, shot on location at the Oregon State Hospital, a mental institution. While on set, Mark met the women of Ward 81, the only locked hospital security ward for women in the state: The inmates were considered dangerous to themselves or to others. In February of 1976, just before the ward closed (it ceased to exist in November of 1977, when it became the female section of a coeducational treatment ward), Mark and Karen Folger Jacobs, a writer and social scientist, were given permission to make a more extended stay, living on the ward in order to photograph and interview the women. They spent 36 days on Ward 81, photographing and documenting. Jacobs recalls their slow, inevitable assimilation: "We felt the degeneration of our own bodies and the erosion of our self-confidence. We were horrified at the thought of what we might become after a year or two of confinement and therapy on Ward 81." This new hardcover edition adds 10 pictures to the original.

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Review: Ward 81

User Review  - Hope Swigart - Goodreads

One of my favorite photography books by one of my favorite controversial photographers. I studied a lot of her work in college. Read full review

About the author (2008)

Mary Ellen Mark (March 20, 1940 - May 25, 2015) was an American photographer known for her photojournalism, portraiture, and advertising photography. She was born in Elkins Park, a suburb of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She received a BFA degree in painting and art history from the University of Pennsylvania, in 1962, and a Masters Degree in photojournalism from that university's Annenberg School for Communication, in 1964. The following year, Mark received a Fulbright Scholarship to photograph in Turkey for a year. Mark had 18 collections of her work published, most notably Streetwise and Ward 81. Her work was exhibited at galleries and museums worldwide and widely published in Life, Rolling Stone, The New Yorker, New York Times, and Vanity Fair. She received numerous awards, including three Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Awards, three fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the 2014 Lifetime Achievement in Photography Award from the George Eastman House and the Outstanding Contribution Photography Award from the World Photography Organisation. Mark died of myelodysplastic syndrome in Manhattan, on May 25, 2015; she was 75.

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