Stories Linger in the Detritus of Abandoned Psychiatric Asylums

Jul 3, 2017

Danvers State Hospital.
Credit May 22nd 2006. Danvers, MA. Photo by Brooks Angelini.

Brooks Angelini is a Fall River based photographer and artist. The asylums he photographs were shuttered in the 1970s after public outcry regarding practices like lobotomies, electroshock therapy, and forced confinement. Many of the buildings were left completely intact, like time capsules showcasing a mental health ideology gone by. Through his pictures, Angelini bears witness to the lives and struggles of the patients who were confined to these institutions.

One room of two that was left filled with books and patient records. Hudson River State Hospital.
Credit April 19th 2008. Poughkeepsie, NY. Photo by Brooks Angelini

You can find more photos of Angelini's work on Instagram.  This piece came to us through our production partners at Atlantic Public Media through their media training program, The Transom Story Workshop in Woods Hole. Judah is a recent graduate from the workshop - you can find out more about the program at

Brooks Angelini stands next to one of his photos in his exhibit at the Greater Fall River Arts Association.
Credit April 7th 2017. Fall River, MA. Photo by Judah Kauffman

Creative Life is edited by Jay Allison and made possible by the Circle of Ten - ten local businesses and organizations committed to local programming on WCAI.