Dance in a madhouse

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Dance in a madhouse. Insane-asylum, Columbus, Ohio. (Bellows) / The artist as a young man was an intimate friend of the family of the superintendent of the great State Hospital at Columbus, Ohio. For years the amusement hall was a gloomy old brown vault where on Thursday nights the patients indulged in "Round Dances" interspersed with two-steps and waltzes by the visitors. Each of the characters in this print represents a definite individual. Happy Jack boasted of being able to crack hickory nuts with his gums. Joe Peachmyer was a constant borrower of a nickel or a chew. The gentleman in the center had succeeded with a number of perpetual motion machines. The lady in middle center assured the artist by looking at his palm that he was a direct descendant of Christ. This is the happier side of a vast world which a more considerate and wiser society could reduce to a not inconsiderable degree. -GB Bellows described his impression of the "Madhouse" as a memory from the distant past. The memory was probably returned forcefully into his consciousness when he visited his old friend, Socks Raymond, with whom he had played baseball at Central High School in Columbus and at Ohio State University. Raymond suffered a complete nervous breakdown and had been confined to a psychiatric hospital. (Mason). Artist: Bellows, George, 1882-1925. Date: 1917. Sourced from Digital Commonwealth website.

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