Asylum

“Asylum: Inside the Closed World of State Mental Hospitals,” by photographer Christopher Payne on display now through Jan. 2.

Photo courtesy of: Kennedy Museum of Art

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Photographer showcases historic state mental hospitals in ‘Asylum’


Kennedy Museum of Art provides a stunning glimpse of America’s past history of mental hospitals in the exhibition, “Asylum: Inside the Closed World of State Mental Hospitals,” by photographer Christopher Payne on display now through Jan. 2.

The large-format photographs depict the unique architecture and bear witness to the grandiose but poignant ruins these sprawling complexes have become.

Christopher Payne spent six years visiting 70 institutions in 30 states, documenting the decay of state mental hospitals, including the Athens State Mental Hospital in Athens, Ohio, where the Kennedy Museum sits today. Trained as an architect and photographer, he has a strong interest in historic buildings and industrial architecture, which comes through in his work.

Payne will present a public talk at 6 p.m. on Oct. 21 at the museum, immediately followed by a reception from 7 to 8 p.m. The events are free open to the public.

Kennedy Museum of Art is located in Lin Hall at The Ridges. Gallery hours are Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays, 12 p.m. to 5 p.m., Thursdays from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m., and Saturdays and Sundays from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.  The Museum is closed on Mondays and holidays.  Admission is free and parking is free and metered.