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David Maisel’s ‘Library of Dust’ series showcases the remnants of human decay from Oregon State’s abandoned mental asylum.
As part of his series revolving around the facility of the Oregon State Insane Asylum, Maisel features the copper canisters that house the cremated remains of the patients from the mental asylum. Each canister contains the unclaimed ashes of patients that died in the hospital between 1883 to the 1970s.
This portion of Maisel’s haunting series hones in on the human factor of the mental asylum. The abandoned portion of the hospital still houses 3,500 canisters of the former asylum patients. Through years of oxidation, the canisters have produced bright and colorful moldings, which is a great contrast towards the morose nature of the facility.