in 1912 as a farm colony of Brooklyn State Hospital, the Creedmoor Psychiatric Center in Queens [New York] became, by mid-century, a world unto itself. At its peak, it housed some 7,000 patients. They tended gardens and raised livestock on the hospital’s grounds. The hospital contained gymnasiums, a swimming pool, a theater, a television studio, and giant kitchens and laundries where patients were put to work. Today, Creedmoor, still run by the New York State Office of Mental Health, has only a few hundred patients" and houses The Living Museum
, an 'art asylum within an asylum
' where patients can create and exhibit
their art. But what is life like inside the institution itself? In 2010, Katherine B. Olsen spent weeks interviewing staff and patients. Her essay, published this week, 'Something More Wrong'
takes us inside Creedmoor's women's ward.
With so few patients remaining in residence, the institution has been downsized. Some buildings have been abandoned, such as Creedmoor's Building #25
. Other lands have been re-purposed: Wikipedia:
"In 1975 the land in Glen Oaks formerly used to raise food for the hospital was opened to the public as the Queens County Farm Museum
. Another part of the campus in Glen Oaks was developed into the Queens Children's Psychiatric Center.
In 2004, the remaining part of Creedmoor land in Glen Oaks was developed into the Glen Oaks public school campus, including The Queens High School of Teaching, Liberal Arts and the Sciences
The hospital also has a checkered history. Here's a New York Times exposé from 1984: Fear and Brutality in a Creedmoor Ward
The Living Museum
* More pictures of art
. In 2009, Mount Mary College exhibited works by the artists of the Living Museum. Video slideshow
* Queens Chronicle: Inside Creedmoor's Living Museum
* The Museum was the subject of a 1999 HBO documentary directed by Jessica Yu: The Living Museum.
(Reviews: New York Magazine
, Los Angeles Times
/ Interview with Ms. Yu.