Guthrie at Greystone

Winner of the 2014 Mid-Atlantic Emmy for Best Arts/Entertainment Program Feature/Segment.

Woody Guthrie spent some of his last years at Greystone Park Psychiatric Hospital in Morris Plains, New Jersey. Photographer Phil Buehler has documented the now abandoned hospital, and in a new book tells the story of Guthrie’s time there. Woody Guthrie was sent to Greystone because he was misdiagnosed with schizophrenia; he actually had Huntington’s disease, a hereditary disorder once known as “the shakes.” In Woody Guthrie’s Wardy Forty: Greystone Park State Hospital Revisited, Buehler has collaborated with Nora Guthrie and the Woody Guthrie Archives to shed light on this little known chapter in the legendary folksinger’s life. Photographs of Greystone’s ruins are juxtaposed with rare family photographs, letters, and interviews. Nora Guthrie describes her father’s time at Greystone, the place where a very young Bob Dylan once made a pilgrimage to meet him.

State of the Arts NJ visits Greystone with Phil Buehler, who has been photographing modern ruins for over 40 years. We also meet Nora Guthrie, president of Woody Guthrie Publications.

Produced by Susan Wallner.

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