Echo Park based photographer and filmmaker, Jason House, will exhibit a preview of his photo series, Sanitarium, featuring photos of the abandoned Rockhaven Sanitarium at Gallery 417 Downtown in the historic Los Angeles Subway Terminal Building. Opening night on Thursday, August 13, 2015 will be part of the Downtown L.A. Art Walk and will feature an artist reception from 6-8pm. The show will continue through September 8th.Sanitarium is a continuation of House's Mono No Aware series depicting recently empty and abandoned places that still seem haunted by the thoughts, feelings, and memories of previous inhabitants. Says House, “There’s something magical about abandoned places to me, especially ones that are only recently abandoned. The halls are quiet, the beds are empty, but there is still an undeniable presence and impression of the people that were here before me. Their memories and emotions still linger in the things they left behind. I wanted to document and somehow honor that."
Rockhaven Sanitarium was founded in 1923 by psychiatric nurse, Agnes Richards, as a place where women suffering “mild mental and nervous disorders” could be treated with more dignity and respect than the state-run insane asylums of the time. As a private institution run exclusively for women and owned by a woman (a rarity at the time), Rockhaven became popular among the Hollywood elite. Marilyn Monroe’s mother, Gladys Eley, called it home, as well as Billie Burke, and many other actresses and entertainers. Abandoned in the mid-2000's, the decaying property stands in peril as its current owners, The City of Glendale, regularly entertain bids from developers.