Life Magazine: Oregon State Hospital patients in 1972

Life Magazine / 1972From the Oregonian, November 27 2008

A poignant look back at Oregon State Hospital patients on a 1972 field trip

Sometimes in all the conversations about mental illness and the Oregon State Hospital, some Oregonians forget to see the patients there as human beings, with the same emotions and needs as the rest of us.

That’s why it’s worth taking a few minutes to look at the series of photos that one of my esteemed colleagues on The Oregonian editorial board, Mike Francis, came across. The photos are available to view as part of a deal that Google has done with Life magazine to put its entire photo archive online.

The iconic collection of pictures is now available in part, and eventually there will be around 10 million images, 97 percent of which have never been seen before. Exploring the site, Mike stumbled on a photo essay that he actually remembered from 1972, of a group of patients from the Oregon State Hospital on a field trip. It’s well worth a look. It may make you think of the hospital patients in different ways.

(In addition to the large hospital patient picture on the Life website, click on and look at the other images from the field trip on the right side of the site.)