Sunday, 15 January 2012

CDCR Picture of the Week (San Quentin Dining Hall Murals)

Alfredo Santos was 24 years old when he went to prison in 1951. In 1955, Santos finished the last of six wall murals just in time to meet his parole date. Upon being released, he worked as a caricaturist at Disneyland and returned to his hometown of San Diego to open the first of many galleries.

The murals are a product of a competition open to all inmates in 1953 to paint the cafeteria walls. A prison doctor encouraged Santos to enter the contest. After sketching a proposal, Santos began painting the first dining room wall. The work, lasting two years, was conducted at night when the dining halls were not in use.

Measuring 12 feet tall and nearly 100 feet long, the oil paintings represent a variety of people, places and events that have shaped California. Ever era of the state’s development is represented, from the arrival of cover wagons and gold miners to the rise of the aerospace and motion picture industries.

Source CDCR Picture of the week
- Pictures of the SQ Murals
- Alfredo Santos (The Artist)

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