Marshall Clarke | The Sun Magazine
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Marshall Clarke

Marshall Clarke’s photographs have appeared in Photographer’s Forum and the Photo Review. He lives in Butler, Maryland.

— From June 2008
Photography

Into Silence

Over the course of two years I photographed my grandmother Marjorie Clarke on my weekly visits to her home in rural Butler, Maryland. With her health declining and Alzheimer’s disease loosening her ties to everyday reality, I spent much of my time reading aloud or singing songs to her, attempting to hold her attention as long as possible.

April 2007

April 2007

During a service at a local church, Marjorie closes her eyes and tries to sleep.

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April 2007

Once an accomplished self-taught pianist, Marjorie plays “Chopsticks,” the only song she remembers.

April 2007

As her Alzheimer’s disease progressed, Marjorie often forgot what she was doing. Here she contemplates her next step as Sam, her nurse, calls the pharmacy for medicines.

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April 2007

Marjorie is shown the cake for her eldest son’s twenty-fifth wedding anniversary.

April 2007

Unable to walk, Marjorie is moved downstairs in her home. She sleeps under a portrait, painted by her husband, of herself at twenty-four.

April 2007

On an afternoon visit, Marjorie’s daughter Mary Virginia sings familiar songs and comforts her mother.

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April 2007

The photographer’s grandmother in front of her living-room window.

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