Glore Psychiatric Museum

The Glore Psychiatric Museum is part of a complex of St. Joseph, Missouri museums, along with the Black Archives Museum and the St. Joseph Museum and American Indian and History Galleries. Its exhibits feature the 130-year history of the adjacent state mental hospital, and illustrate the history of mental health treatment through the ages. It has been called one of the fifty most unusual museums in the United States.HistoryThe collection began in 1966 when George Glore, an employee of the Missouri Department of Mental Health, built some life-size models of primitive devices formerly used for mental health treatment, for display during a Mental Health Awareness Week. The models, together with a growing collection of other artifacts, became a museum in 1967, designed to illustrate how the treatment of mental illness has progressed through time. Glore explained, "We really can't have a good appreciation of the strides we've made (in mental health treatment) if we don't look at the atrocities of the past." Glore continued to add to the collection throughout his 41-year career with the department. After his retirement in the 1990s he continued to serve as the museum's curator until his death in 2010, after which Scott Clark became curator.At first the museum was housed in a ward of the original "State Lunatic Asylum No. 2", renamed the "St. Joseph State Hospital" in 1899. The asylum was built in 1874 and resembled a fortress. From an initial population of 25 patients it expanded until it housed nearly 3,000 patients in the 1950s. In the 1990s it was re-purposed as a state prison, and a new 108-bed facility called Northwest Missouri Psychiatric Rehabilitation opened across the street from the original hospital. The Glore Museum moved to a 1968 building outside the prison gates that was originally a clinic for patients at the mental hospital.

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3406 Frederick Ave
Saint Joseph, MO
64506

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