selenium toned silver gelatin printThe System is rigid, strict and hopeless solitary confinement, and I believe it, in its effects, to be cruel and wrong...
Charles Dickens, 1842.
In the 1800s, crime was believed to be the result of environmental influences. As such, strict discipline and solitude could be used to make the criminal mind truly penitent, a correctional theory later known as the 'Pennsylvania System'. Eastern State Penitentiary was the world's first true 'penitentiary', a prison designed around evoking regret through consistent solitary confinement.
The construction of Eastern State Penitentiary (designed by J. Haviland) began in 1822. Its first inmate was accepted on October 23rd, 1829. Then penitentiary closed its doors in January 1970. Notable inmates included Tony and Eddie Scoleri, William Francis Sutton ('Slick Willie') and Alphonse 'Al' Capone.
Once the most famous and expensive prison in the world, today the peeling paint can be heard falling onto the stone floors of the abandoned prison.
Photographed using a Graflex Crown Graphic 4x5 camera and Kodak Ektar 127mm f/4.5 lens. Image printed on Kentmere fiber-based paper.Accolades:
- 2011 Exhibitor, New Work by Photography Faculty and Students of Southern Illinois University, Carbondale. Cedarhurst Arts Center, Mount Vernon, IL.