Portraits From An English Lunatic Asylum

These portraits were captured at The West Riding Pauper Lunatic Asylum in Yorkshire in the 1800’s. Built to keep the patients isolated from society, the hospital was self-sufficient with its own bakery, butchery, dairy, shop and laundry. I think these portraits have to be some of the most intriguing yet upsetting images my 28 year old eyes have ever encountered. Each portrait was labeled with the patient’s diagnosis, and the one that stuck out the most for me was ‘woman suffering from acute melancholia.’ The hospital was closed in 1995 and made into apartments. Just imagine how loudly the walls must talk.

L0019060 Woman suffering from chronic mania; c. 1869 L0018944 'Monomania of pride' patient at West Riding Lunatic Asylum L0019064 Man suffering from mania of suspicion; H. Clarke, 1869 L0019071 West Riding Lunatic Asylum: prisoner; H. Clarke; 1869 L0018945 Woman suffering from acute melancholia; H. Clarke, 1869 L0019063 Woman suffering from general paralysis; c. 1869

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