Willard Suitcase #14
This case was very interesting to me on a lot of levels. It belonged to Peter L.
It was almost completely flattened and I decided to shoot it from above until Peg figured out how to have it stand up on its own.
This type of bag has always been one of my favorites. I have one very similar to it that was given to me a long time ago by a friend.
It looks like there is a burn from a cigarette on the wooden shaving soap box.
You see this color green often in the UK.
I found my self hoping that Peterson’s Ointment was indeed soothing to Peter L.
The small labels that the Willard staff affixed to the cases tells quite a bit about the patients.
I have again obscured the last part of Peter’s name here. What is interesting about this tag is the date of his admission.
You can see by the date on this Syracuse Herald-Journal that he bought the paper just days before he arrived at Willard.
My mom’s name was Vera and my son’s name is Peter and when I see connections in these items I can’t help but to personalize this whole process. It is one of the reasons that I feel able to convey some sense of intimacy through the photographs.
It also helps to remember that while the individuals who owned the cases were experiencing monumental changes in their lives, the larger world around them was also in turmoil.
I will be in Albany Monday, Tuesday, and probably Friday. Early in the week I’ll be meeting with Dr. Karen Miller and a wonderful person from the West Coast museum that (fingers crossed) will be using some of this work in a major exhibit a year from now. As soon as details are finalized, I let everyone know what’s going on. And on Friday I’ll hope to shoot a bunch more cases.