Abandoned Asylums takes readers on an unrestricted visual journey inside America’s abandoned state hospitals, asylums, and psychiatric facilities, the institutions where countless stories and personal dramas played out behind locked doors and out of public sight.
The images captured by photographer Matt Van der Velde are powerful, haunting and emotive. A sad and tragic reality that these once glorious historical institutions now sit vacant and forgotten as their futures are uncertain and threatened with the wrecking ball.
Explore a private mental hospital that treated Marilyn Monroe and other celebrities seeking safe haven. Or look inside the seclusion cells at an asylum that once incarcerated the now-infamous Charles Manson. Or see the autopsy theater at a Government Hospital for the Insane that was the scene for some of America’s very first lobotomy procedures.
With a foreward by renowned expert Carla Yanni examining their evolution and subsequent fall from grace, accompanying writings by Matt Van der Velde detailing their respective histories, Abandoned Asylums will shine some light on the glorious, and sometimes infamous institutions that have for so long been shrouded in darkness.
Matt van der Velde has always had a passion for documenting places hidden from society. He understands the historic and architectural value in America’s abandoned State Hospital and Psychiatric facilities. Partner that with an insatiable interest in history and you have the inspiration behind “Abandoned Asylums”, which seeks to provide a visual record and last will and testament of these incredible institutions before they disappear forever.
AUTHOR & PHOTOGRAPHER: Matt van der Velde