Jon Crispin's Notebook

Willard Suitcases / Joseph A / Peggy Ross

Posted in Willard Asylum, Willard Suitcases by joncrispin on 24/11/2014

I was back in Rotterdam at the storage facility shooting suitcases this past Friday.  The last time I was there, Peggy and I were only able to get part way through Joseph A’s possessions, and I was really eager to finish up.  I posted about that day here.  Most of what was in his two large trunks was clothing, and as I have said before, setting up this sort of shot is difficult for me.

Thank goodness for Peg.  I have mentioned before just how important she is to the project.  I probably would have never done the second Kickstarter without her, or for that matter, even thought about shooting all 400 of the suitcases.  Friday was a good case in point.  Every single article of clothing in Joseph’s collection had been assigned a catalogue number by the museum.  This meant taking the objects out of their archival boxes, keeping track of the small pieces of paper on which those numbers were written, hiding the numbers in the folds of the clothes so they weren’t visible in the photographs, setting up the shot, taking the photographs, rematching all the numbers with the articles, and finally putting them back into their designated storage boxes.  We worked for about four hours on this one trunk; had I been alone it would have taken days.

And in addition to all of this detail work, she helps to organize the shots, and sees things that I would otherwise miss.  When we were putting Joseph’s clothes away, she pointed out that his initials had been embroidered onto the collar of his pajamas, and it makes for a lovely picture.

So a huge thank you to Peg for her organizational skills, hard work, and dedication to the project.  I couldn’t do this without her.

4 Responses

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  1. B Swinney said, on 24/11/2014 at 11:53 pm

    Lovely pieces of clothing that help tell Joseph A.’s life story. The initials were delicately placed on a personal item of clothing. Perhaps even a present from a loved one. Even the stains on the clothing tell a story in themselves…lovely. Thank you and Peggy for all the work and love you put into this project. You are portraying and giving dignity to the ones that owned the articles in the suitcases.

  2. lisa said, on 25/11/2014 at 7:57 pm

    So nicely photographed, Jon.
    Happy Thanksgiving.

  3. TrulyMe_PamB. said, on 27/12/2014 at 7:12 pm

    I am beyond captivated with your Willard Suitcases series, and more importantly the experiences you are receiving from the interactions with these objects. Thanks for giving me a new place to learn about. I can’t get over the effect it’s existence has brought about.


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