Help Us Envision the New Museum

9 05 2012

The Board of Directors of the Oregon State Hospital Museum will be meeting to talk about the future of the museum in the coming weeks. Help us understand what you would like to see as part of the museum by filling out this survey.  (click on the “read more” link to take the survey). Read the rest of this entry »


Television Unveiled

16 04 2012

At the last museum board meeting, this newly restored television set was presented.  The television appeared in the baseball scene of the film “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,” where the character McMurphy famously announces the game watching its blank screen.  Recovered from the trash after the filming, the television was donated to the museum for use in its displays. Read the rest of this entry »

Open House at OSH this Friday, March 2, 2012

27 02 2012

What: Public open house and tour of Oregon State Hospital’s newly completed patient wing.
When: Friday, March 2, 2012, 1 to 6:30 p.m.
Where: Oregon State Hospital, 2600 Center Street NE, Salem

For more information contact Rebeka Gipson-King, 503-756-0366, or read Press Release here.

Join a public tour of the Bridges and Springs facilities at the Oregon State Hospital this coming Friday.  There will be a small display set up by the Oregon State Hospital Museum and volunteers will be on hand to answer questions.

Oregon Cultural Trust

30 12 2011

The Oregon State Hospital Museum of Mental Health is a participating Cultural Non-Profit with the Oregon Cultural Trust.  Making a donation to the museum and a matching donation to the Oregon Cultural Trust will make a big impact and could save you some money.  Information on how the program works is available on the Oregon Cultural Trust’s Website.  Donations to the Oregon State Hospital Museum can be made to the museum’s PO Box 851 Salem, OR 97308.

Join us at the Willamette Heritage Center January 20th-March 10, 2012

10 12 2011

Portland Theatrical Premiere of “Guilty Except for Insanity” coming this October

26 09 2011

The documentary “Guilty Except for Insanity” will be premiering Sunday October 9, 2011 at the Cinema 21 Theater in Portland.   The director and lead subjects in the film will be present for a Q and A after the screening on opening night.

WHEN: October 9-11, 2011 (Sunday, 4:30; 7:00 pm; Monday and Tuesday, 7:00 & 9:00 pm)

WHERE: Cinema 21, 616 Northwest 21st Ave, Portland, Oregon. (503) 223-4515

TICKET COST: For advance purchase of tickets, go to For further information call (503) 657-1601 or visit the project’s website here.

ABOUT THE FILM: Director Jan Haaken, a professor of psychology, goes behind the walls of the Oregon State Hospital, the location of One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest, and recounts the stories of real patients who enter this famous hospital for the “criminally insane.” As patients and staff try to make sense of each juncture in the road, from getting arrested and surviving the wards to reentering the community, their stories reveal the craziness of an American system where you have to commit a crime to get psychiatric help. The documentary probes this maddening world through the eyes of those locked inside the system and uncovers deeper psychological truths about the human need for care and connection, as well as for freedom. (85 minutes)

OSH Cremains Memorial Project Public Meeting to be Held August 18 in Salem

17 08 2011

Photo by David Maisel

The State of Oregon is seeking public input and feedback regarding a memorial to honor the more than 3,000 unclaimed cremains of people who died while living in state institutions.  A public meeting about the project will be held, Thursday, August 18, 2011 in Salem at the State Lands Building, 775 Summer St NE.

The story of the cremains made national headlines in 2005, after they were “rediscovered” in storage in the hospital basement.[1] The story was graphically illustrated through the work of photographer David Maisel, and the images of deteriorating copper canisters soon became synonymous with other problems with the state’s mental health system.[2]

The history of the cremains is a long and complex one.

Almost as soon as the Oregon State Insane Asylum was opened in 1883, there was a need for funerary services.  Death was part of daily life at the Asylum.  Before nursing Read the rest of this entry »