Reel Queer Film Series presents Packed in a Trunk


The Reel Queer Film Series at Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center presents Packed in a Trunk: The Lost Art of Edith Lake Wilkinson on May 31, 2018 at 7pm. The screening is free to attend and is followed by a talk back facilitated by Margo Hobbs, Associate Professor of Art History at Muhlenberg College. 

Packed in a Trunk uncovers the story of artist Edith Lake Wilkinson, committed to an asylum in 1924 and never heard from again.  We follow the journey of Edith’s great-niece as she pieces together the mystery of Edith’s life and returns her work to Provincetown.

Born in Wheeling, West Virginia in 1868, Edith moved to New York by herself in 1888 to study at the Art Students’ League.   During the next 3 decades, she lived on the upper west side with a woman named Fannie, travelled to Europe a number of times, and became a part-time resident of Provincetown, Massachusetts.  Then, in 1924 she was committed to the Sheppard Pratt Hospital in Baltimore, a sanitarium for the mentally ill; this was quite possibly encouraged by the family lawyer who subsequently siphoned off her funds.  Objections had also been raised to Edith’s “close and constant contact” with her longtime companion Fannie. Since Edith’s only sister had died years earlier and her aged parents had recently died under suspicious circumstances, there was no family left to advocate for her.  Once she was put away, Edith’s work and all her worldly possessions were packed into trunks and shipped off to her nephew in West Virginia where they sat in an attic collecting dust for the next 40 years.  Edith was never heard from again.

Packed in a Trunk is about rescuing the work of lost and gifted souls out of attics and closets and forgotten rooms.   It is about being seen.

Reviews of Packed in a Trunk:

Winner of the Audience Award for Best Documentary at the Provincetown International Film Festival

"...genuinely moving... an incredibly well crafted movie that tells an eye opening story" - The Hollywood Reporter

“A must see. A detective story like no other…”—Indie Wire

“It will give you goosebumps” — After Ellen

Watch the trailer:

This is a sober social event. No alcohol will be served.

The Reel Queer Film Series is supported in part by Pennsylvania Council on the Arts


Sponsored By: 


May 31, 2018 at 7:00pm - 9pm
Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center
522 W Maple St
Allentown, PA 18101
United States
Google map and directions

Will you come?