2021-11-09 18:53:03 UTC
The plates are mostly blue and white. (I'd like to post this at rec.food.cooking, but they can be pretty rude in their responses.)
"For more than two decades, she rendered death row prisoners’ requests for a last meal on a series of plates, bringing a human face to capital punishment."
By Penelope Green. Nov. 5, 2021
Six tacos, six glazed doughnuts and a Cherry Coke: That was the last meal of a man executed in Oklahoma in July 1999. Rendered in cobalt blue glaze on a white china plate the next year, it was the first in Julie Green’s decades-long art project, “The Last Supper,” which documented the final meals of death row prisoners around the country.
To Professor Green, who taught art at Oregon State University, their choices put a human face on an inhumane practice. Some requests were elaborate: fried sac-a-lait fish (otherwise known as white perch or crappie, it’s the state fish of Louisiana) topped with crawfish étouffée. And some were starkly mundane: two peanut butter cups and a Dr Pepper.
She planned to paint the meals until capital punishment was abolished, or until she had made 1,000 plates, whichever came first. In September, she painted her 1,000th plate, an oval platter with a single familiar image: the bottle of Coca-Cola requested by a Texas man in 1997.
She died a few weeks later, on Oct. 12, at her home in Corvallis, Ore., by physician-assisted suicide, which is permitted under Oregon’s Death With Dignity Act. She was 60. Her husband, the artist Clay Lohmann, said she had ovarian cancer....
...Texas, which has executed more prisoners than any other state in the country (573 since 1976, including three men this year), no longer allows special meal requests; its menus are drawn from standard prison fare.
But not all states are so rigid. In 2001 in Indiana, a prison granted an inmate’s request to have his mother make him chicken dumplings in the institution’s kitchen. Professor Green painted the word “Mother” on the platter that pays homage to that meal. Another Indiana inmate told prison officials that he’d never had a birthday cake, so they ordered him one, along with the pizza he had requested, which he shared with 15 family members and friends in 2007. Professor Green painted a cake that bristles with candles. In Georgia in 2009, a mentally disabled inmate asked for half a pecan pie. He didn’t understand the concept of execution, and he intended to save some of the pie to eat afterward....