“THE WOMEN ON THIS WARD ARE CONSIDERED DANGEROUS”: MARY ELLEN MARK’S WARD 81, SIGNED BY HER
MARK, Mary Ellen. Ward 81. (New York): Simon and Schuster (Fireside), (1979). Oblong octavo, original laminated stiff paper wrappers. $650.
First edition of Mark’s wrenching photo-documentary of mentally disturbed women, with 86 finely screened duotones, signed by her on the half title.
“One of the most important contemporary photojournalists, Mark has produced photographs that often focus on people outside conventional society’s bounds” (McDarrah, 300). In 1975, Mark was assigned a photo-essay on the making of the movie One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest, on location at the Oregon State Hospital. In the course of her research she encountered Ward 81, the high security women’s ward at the hospital. This is the visual record of her encounter. “For over 30 years Mark has excelled at the traditional task of the documentary photographer, recording the lives of people on the margins of society in dramatic and visually compelling images. What sets her pictures apart, though, is their intimacy, the sense that in looking at them we are being offered unfiltered glimpses into the lives and spirits of the people they record” (Charles Hagen).
Signature crisp. Near-fine condition.