Bedlam 1946


“In addition to its social reform agenda, this series explored one of the era’s central philosophical concerns:  the tragic disjunction – and essential fragility – of the human body, mind, and spirit.  Notably, Cooke’s series anticipated by more than a decade similar bodies of work by Richard Avedon and Diane Arbus.”
— Keith F. Davis, American Century of Photography

           Read Full Article-            May 6, 1946

This photographic essay changed the way America viewed “Insane Asylums,” inspiring much needed reform.  There were several significant photographs from this body of work that were not used in the Bedlam essay, including the award winning Family of Man image, “Ohio Insane Asylum.”

Many of the photographs continue to be included in exhibitions, and published widely in books, magazines, and mental health textbooks, describing the dehumanization and segregation that characterized may institutions in the twentieth century.

Image Gallery

All website contents are copyright ©2024 Jerry Cooke Archives, Inc.
No part of this website may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means without written permission from the Jerry Cooke Archives.

©2024 Jerry Cooke Archives, Inc. | Site by KPFdigital | Website Administrator Login