The last supper

Death-row art

January 31, 2013

Sure, there’s a fancy book about what chefs would choose to eat for their last meals. But America’s real cultural contribution to the last-supper concept has come via the final dinner served to the condemned.

Painter Julie Green, for example, creates blue representations on ceramic plates of actual meals served to death-row inmates. Photographer Julia Ziegler-Haynes does something similar with photos, making and shooting replica meals.

Artist Henry Hargreaves put together another cook-and-shoot photography project, this time shooting meals of the notorious (Timothy McVeigh, John Wayne Gacy).

Even the British have gotten on board, with James Reynolds’ photographs of last suppers. But since Britain abolished the death penalty in the 1960s, Reynolds had to turn to American inmates for his ideas.