Jon Crispin's Notebook

Willard Suitcase #21 / Irma M.

Posted in Asylums, Willard Asylum, Willard Suitcases by joncrispin on 17/07/2013

I was back at the museum shooting suitcases yesterday.  Irma’s possessions were in several storage boxes and we weren’t able to finish up last week.  This time I concentrated on some of her travel memorabilia and a few pieces of fabric.

As I had mentioned in last week’s post, she seems to have travelled extensively before coming to Willard.  One of the boxes contained many items from Scandinavia including this beautiful collection of photographs from Norway.

She was quite a collector.

This interesting card was addressed to her when she was in New York City and I think it might have been from her sister.  Below is the reverse side.

And it appears that she spent time taking the cure at Mont-Dore.

This brochure is very cool.

For those of you fortunate enough to read French, you can get an idea about the treatments available.  I am totally diggin’ les “Costumes du Mont-Dore”.

Here is a small section of the map that opened up in the center of the brochure.

And here she is in all her beauty.  Heart-breaking.  Note the sheet music in the photo on the left.

There was a large collection of family snapshots.

And I believe that the gentleman on the bottom left is her brother or brother in law.

This is a detail of a bathrobe that was obviously hand sewn.

Above are two beautiful scarves with this small clutch purse.

And a nice detail of the beads on the clutch.

Yesterday I also shot a case of a woman named Josephine who came to Willard at the age of 25 in 1898 and died at the institution in 1973.  Her case is the oldest in the collection and I hope to post some shots next week.  Thanks for following, and thanks so much to the New York State Museum for allowing me access to this amazing collection.

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