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Curators in Conversation – Mary Ellen Mark: Ward 81

March 22 at 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

Mary Ellen Mark, [Beth in “time out,” Ward 81, Oregon State Hospital, Salem, Oregon, USA], 1976, gelatin silver print © Mary Ellen Mark, courtesy of The Mary Ellen Mark Foundation/Howard Greenberg Gallery

Curators in Conversation – Mary Ellen Mark: Ward 81
Gaëlle Morel and Kaitlin Booher
Wednesday, March 22, 2023
7 pm ET
Free | Online via Zoom

Join IMC Exhibitions Curator Gaëlle Morel and Guest Curator Kaitlin Booher for a virtual talk focused on Mary Ellen Mark’s groundbreaking approach to documentary photography and her seminal project portraying the lives of female mental health patients in the Oregon State Hospital (1976).

Presented in conjunction with the exhibition Mary Ellen Mark: Ward 81, on view through April 1 at The Image Centre.


IMC Exhibitions Curator Gaëlle Morel © Laura Margaret Ramsey, The Image Centre; Guest Curator Kaitlin Booher


Gaëlle Morel has been the Exhibitions Curator at The Image Centre since 2010, during which time she has curated dozens of exhibitions and written and edited numerous publications. In 2009, Morel was the guest curator of the photography biennial, Le Mois de la Photo à Montréal. She is currently an instructor in the Film + Photography Preservation and Collections Management graduate program at Toronto Metropolitan University. Morel holds a PhD in the History of Contemporary Photography from Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne.

Kaitlin Booher is the Newhall Curatorial Fellow at the Museum of Modern Art and a Ph.D. Candidate at Rutgers University. Her research focuses on the role of Harper’s Bazaar and Vogue in the dissemination of modern photography in the first half of the 20th century. Previously, Kaitlin was a curatorial consultant in the Department of Photographs at the National Gallery of Art and assistant curator of photography and media arts at the Corcoran Gallery of Art.


Mary Ellen Mark: Ward 81 (installation view), 2023 © James Morley, The Image Centre

Mary Ellen Mark: Ward 81
January 25–April 1, 2023
Main Gallery
Curators: Gaëlle Morel and Kaitlin Booher

In 1976, American photographer Mary Ellen Mark spent thirty-six days living in the Oregon State Hospital with licensed therapist and writer Karen Folger Jacobs, Ph.D., to photograph the patients of Ward 81—a high security, locked psychiatric facility for women. Mark’s unique access led to a nuanced and compelling portrayal of female mental health patients. This exhibition brings together the resulting photographs, audio recordings and archival materials to offer an in-depth view of the artist’s experimental and groundbreaking approach to documentary-style photography.

Organized in collaboration with Falkland Road Inc./The Mary Ellen Mark Foundation, New York.


March 22
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
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