Artist Kimberly Chapman’s work will be showcased at SOHC in companionship with artifacts from the Athens Asylum, which are part of our collections. Chapman’s Eighty-Six Reasons is an exploration of the way early asylums treated women. As this exhibit is centered on the Eighty-Six Reasons women were placed in asylums, we feel it is important to spend time discussing the history of Athens’ own asylum, as well as Chapman’s view of her work. As you come into the History Center, the first case you will see is a statement about our intent with this exhibit; we hope to share our vision as well as an important part of Athens’ history too.
A Word From The Artist
In this excerpt from Chapman’s website, you can read her own words describing her exhibition:
“This collection explores how and why women were sent to asylums and the botched diagnoses and treatments they received. Straightjacketed women, some with gold masks and others with birds stare blankly forward other women are entrapped and disappear into their bed sheets. There are championship cup trophies to male medical misogyny, hands holding souvenir coins that remind viewers that for a shilling the public could visit European asylums – just for fun. Jumbo teeth wrapped in porcelain-coated gauze and razor-thin porcelain teacups complete the collection. Finally, tintype photographs of the artist as an asylum patient dressed in authentic clothing from the 1800’s illustrate the artist’s complete immersion into the series.”