May 9th, 2008
As promised in my last post, here’s another collection of links to old photographs of Kirkbride asylums. There aren’t as many left for me to share as I thought. I really should have just thrown these in with the last bunch, but oh well…
To start things off, here are some images of the Western Hospital for the Insane in Bolivar, Tennessee (otherwise known as Bolivar State Hospital).
I think I prefer old photos of Kirkbrides to anything around today. They show the buildings much closer to their original state, before they were modified and modernized. There’s also a sort of “atmospheric haze” in older photographs that makes them seem more real while at the same time more ethereal. Maybe there’s a technical explanation for that, but being an intuitive sort of photographer, I have no idea what it is. I just know that I like it.
Finally, as a little bonus here are some old drawings of two Wisconsin Hospitals for the Insane. If you get past the clunky interface, you can get a pretty amazingly detailed view of them. While they’re not photographs, they’re still interesting to look at.