This web page is done so well, and is so user friendly, I have nothing to add. Vivian Maier was a nanny for 40 years, which is dear to me already since I was a nanny for two different families for about 4 years total. I did a lot of photography with my second family since we lived on a 185+ acres of woodland in North East Georgia, and we traveled a great deal all over the South. I have some really awesome pictures, but there are mainly on slides and in storage. Someday I will be able to purchase the device which lets me upload my slides on to the computer. It’s out there, it is a real machine which was not available (neither was digital photography) when I was a nanny. Vivian is dead now, and apparently died without anyone realizing her great talent. Enjoy!
I ran across a FB post on a photograph exhibit of suitcases found in an attic at Willard State Hospital. The photographer, Jon Crispin, documents items left by patients who died or left the hospital. The website for the exhibition, The Willard Suitcase Exhibit, offers not only pictures, but history of some of the patients, pictures and history of the hospital, interviews (offered in Mp3 format) from some of the staff, and much more.
A tragic life of a very educated woman is also shown here. Mademoiselle Madeline (Mlle. Madeline) graduated from the Sorbonne in France. She came to America, had good jobs and lived a full life. The Depression hit, and she got lost in it. She couldn’t find work, according to her file, her employers considered her “odd, tactless, and domineering.” This seems quite an expected commentary for an educated and independent woman of this time. Her history further describes how so ended up at Willard: Unable to find steady work during the Depression, Madeline was referred to the Emergency Work Bureau. They found her unemployable, and referred her for outpatient mental health treatment; this led to her 1931 admission to the psychiatric unit at Bellevue Hospital in Manhattan. After being put on anti-psychotic drugs for being basically stubborn and not willing to just stay in an institutional life, she had a serious reaction. Her face and hands began to twitch, and she ended up having a grimace on her face (tardive dyskinesia). She was then given ‘attitude therapy’ to try to get her to stop the grimace. She ended up dying in care, which lasted 47 years. Her gravesite is unknown.
What is really sad is the average patient stay was 30 years! I have a hard time really wrapping my head around being in a hospital of any kind for 30 years. In just reading some of the histories offered, the ignorance of the time is just so unreal. One patient, Fraulein Theresa, was stated as being, “noisy, resistive, ugly, and delusional.” Some of the other patients are referred to as just being noisy, but basically normal.
Another patient, Mr. Dmytro, who was originally from the Ukraine spoke with such a heavy accent, the staff had problems communicating with him. So…he was thus made to endure 20 electroshock treatments, which did not help at all.
These patients listed on the website lived and died in this hospital. For a time they were even unpaid laborers for the hospital. From the information offered, it appears the last patient left in 1995. I would think some place like this would fit in with the 19th century. It is hard to believe this state of affairs lasted so long.
From just the few cases shown and the pictures of the cemetery, it is clear many patients will never be accounted for to bury properly. Such a sad life for so many people.
As you look at the pictures and listen to the voices, try to embrace the history offered here. These are lessons we can learn from right now. Much the same is now happening in the criminal justice system. People are being sentenced to jail and prison for very minor infractions, then being tossed around until they are so acclimated to prison, they know no other life. I could go on and on with this subject, but I will not bore you. Appreciate the art of Jon Crispin, and all the history offered on his page.
Instead of showing individual photos of Nikos, I will just share the Flickr page I found on him. There is a short video in which he discusses his work here. The reason he impressed me today is his love and work with black and white portraits. I sense he feels much the same as I: black and white shows more of the person, who they are, what they are thinking. There is no color to distract. In just looking at the photos of Angelina Jolie, Boy George, and Hugh Jackman there is an evident real person looking out.
His Flickr page is here. When I look at these photos, I stop, concentrate on their eyes especially, and I see a human, not a celebrity. Enjoy!
I stumbled upon Hristo in the pictures of Bulgaria, although I am not sure what page I was on at the time. Never the less, I searched for him later, and was pleasantly surprised to find he had a WP page. Taking a few moments to just peruse all the places Hristo has been, and all the lovely photos he offers, is a gratifying experience. In just looking at his page today, I found these wonderful shots of a boy in Zanzibar. These pictures of this sweet boy made me smile. Enjoy! Travel through the eyes of Hristo.
I will have to just say this is amazing work.
Thierry Cohen began his professional career in 1985 and is seen as one of the pioneers of digital photography. Cohen currently lives and works in Paris. Since 2010 he has devoted himself to a single project – “Villes Enteintes” (Darkened Cities) – which depicts the major cities of the world as they would appear at night without light pollution, or how they would look if we could see the stars.
According to the Danziger Gallery, which represents Cohen in the United States:
Cohen’s method is original and precise…he photographs the world’s major cities, seeking out views that resonate for him and noting the precise time, angle, and latitude and longitude of his exposure. As the world rotates around its axis the stars that would have been visible above a particular city move to deserts, plains, and other places free of light pollution.By noting the precise latitude and…
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Rebecca Litchfield – London
Wow! Rebecca Litchfield what do I say about her? She was my first introduction into ‘Urban Exploring’, and I have since found many more UEs I love. Ms. Litchfield has won many awards, been published in quite a few magazines, and has her own book out now. She goes places I never would, not in a million years, and gets into extreme positions to get just the right shot. She has her own webpage, but I am only showing her FB link, as her webpage appears to be more for commercial use. On her FB page, go to her photos and just peruse through her work. She usually tells something about the place she is photographing, and often includes technical information on the equipment she uses. She really has a gift, and no fear. In Russia, she and her crew were even detained for about 10 hours. She said she was afraid at this time, but I am sure since she had her crew with her, she was able to stay strong. Very talented woman.