Photos of the Abandoned Suitcases of the Willard Mental Hospital

When the Willard Psychiatric Center in Willard, New York closed down in 1995, a cache of 400 suitcases belonging to former patients was recovered from a storage space. The suitcases are from the period 1910 to 1960, and because many Willard patients had chronic mental illnesses and stayed at the center permanently, their belongings were never retrieved. The suitcases now reside in the permanent collection of the New York State Museum. Photographer Jon Crispin has documented the suitcases and their contents in his fascinating ongoing photo series, “Willard Suitcases.”