Medium:Photographic Print on Board
Black and white photograph of a young girl sitting at a table with a paper plate mask in front of her.
While working in New York City for Look Magazine, photographer Douglas Gilbert was tasked with creating a series of photographs for an article written by Jack Shepherd in July of 1968. The resulting collection of images titled “The Darkside of Morning” features teachers and students at The Manhattan School for Seriously Disturbed Children, the main subjects of Shepherd’s story. The school was founded in 1962 and would eventually become The Association for MetroArea Autistic Children, a program that operated until 2019. During its time in operation the school prided itself on providing individual education and care to autistic individuals ranging in ages 3 to 21 years old, a group of individuals at the time who society would have ignored or allowed to become cast-off. In his article Shepherd states, “The Manhattan School brought all of education, medicine, and therapy to bear on the child in hopes that each child would get enough self-care skills to live in the community at least in a protected area. On its own small scale, the school was keeping severely disturbed children from the dark corners of society.”