0
Professional News
Shuttered MH Center Blooms One Last Time
Psychiatric News
Volume 39 Number 5 page 11-11
Anchor for JumpAnchor for JumpThe Massachusetts Mental Health Center became a place of fantasy in its final days of existence—long hallways, nooks, and crannies carpeted with thousands of flowers.

Once dreary and sterile, the corridors came alive with color: yellow and orange tulips filled the passageways, for instance, as far as the eye could see. Grass lined the basement hallways that led to the facility’s swimming pool, where a sea of blue violets replaced water.

Anchor for JumpAnchor for JumpThe transformation was part of Project Bloom, an artistic project commemorating the Boston hospital’s 91 years of service.

The hospital closed its doors for good on November 11, 2003, and Artistic Director Anna Schuleit and 85 volunteers scrambled during the following days to place approximately 28,000 potted flowers throughout the abandoned facility.

Anchor for JumpAnchor for JumpThe exhibit opened to the public for four days beginning on November 14, and former hospital patients, staff, and others traveled from near and far to marvel at the surreal display.

Why flowers?

Schuleit, who created the exhibit, said psychiatric patients rarely receive flowers, unlike patients who are hospitalized with, for example, appendicitis or cancer.

"I added up all the flowers that had never been given to patients at Massachusetts Mental Health over the years" and used the blooms as the basis of the exhibit, she told Psychiatric News. Schuleit relied on donations to purchase the flowers.

The flowers didn’t go to waste. After the exhibit closed, Schuleit and her volunteers delivered them by truck to people in more than 40 facilities throughout Massachusetts and Rhode Island, including psychiatric facilities, clubhouses, and homeless shelters.

"That was a beautiful part of the project," she said.

A new Massachusetts Mental Health Center facility will eventually open on the site of the now-closed hospital. Until that time, staff and patients are at the the Lemuel Shattuck Hospital in nearby Jamaica Plain, Mass.

More information about the Bloom Project, including photos of the exhibit, is posted online at www.bloomproject.org.

Anchor for JumpAnchor for JumpThe Massachusetts Mental Health Center became a place of fantasy in its final days of existence—long hallways, nooks, and crannies carpeted with thousands of flowers.
Anchor for JumpAnchor for JumpThe transformation was part of Project Bloom, an artistic project commemorating the Boston hospital’s 91 years of service.
Anchor for JumpAnchor for JumpThe exhibit opened to the public for four days beginning on November 14, and former hospital patients, staff, and others traveled from near and far to marvel at the surreal display.

Interactive Graphics

Video

NOTE:
Citing articles are presented as examples only. In non-demo SCM6 implementation, integration with CrossRef’s "Cited By" API will populate this tab (http://www.crossref.org/citedby.html).