An Artist With Alzheimer’s Documented His Illness With Self-Portraits, It’s Simply Heartbreaking.


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In 1995, William Utermohlen, an American artist living in London, received a devastating diagnosis. At the age of 61, just when many people begin to look towards retirement, he was told that he had Alzheimer’s disease.

Being an artist, William Utermohlen painted regular portraits of himself during the first years of his struggle with this horrifying disease. These portraits continued up until he was admitted to a nursing home in 2000. Sadly, William Utermohlen passed away in 2007, but his self-portraits have lived on as a way for us to understand the devastation of Alzheimer’s. The self-portraits clearly show the savage toll that this horrible disease took on the artist over these years.

A self-portrait of William Utermohlen from 1961.
1 - Year 1
2 - Year 2
3 - Year 3
4 - Year 4
5 - Year 5
6 - Year 6
7 - Year 7
8 - Year 8
The complete gallery of portraits
9 - Total Pictures

These images speak to me deeply… I cannot imagine anything more horrifying than to find myself a prisoner to my own mind. Unable to interact with loved ones, feeling frightened and utterly alone. These portraits show us the debilitation that this disease can cause.

Please consider making a donation to one of the many Alzheimer’s organizations such as Hopefully, one day soon this frightening illness will be a thing of the past.

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Source: William Utermohlen Via: Imgur.