Skip to main content
Biomedicine in museums

The suitcases in the psychiatric attic

By December 2, 2006No Comments

Every historian’s/curator’s wet dream is to find the door to a forgotten attic with all sorts of so far unseen historical documents and artefacts. This is what two former staff members at the Willard Psychiatric Center in New York State and a New York State Museum curator did in 1995 when they opened a hidden door to an attic with almost 400 suitcases with photos, letters etc. that had belonged to former patients. This unique material was turned into a very popular exhibition at the New York State Museum (“Lost Cases, Recovered Lives: Suitcases From a State Hospital Attic”) in 2004, and now it has been turned into a wandering exhibition and website, see Has anybody thought of going through the attics of the Copenhagen hospitals?

Thomas Söderqvist

Author Thomas Söderqvist

More posts by Thomas Söderqvist