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Spade Squads, Cummins Prison Farm, Grady, Arkansas

© Bruce Jackson

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Bruce Jackson

American, born 1936

Spade Squads, Cummins Prison Farm, Grady, Arkansas, 1974 (printed 2015)

black-and-white giclée inkjet print

Edition: uneditioned

sheet: 17 x 24 inches (43.18 x 60.96 cm)

Collection Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York

Gift of the Winfield Foundation, by exchange, 2015


More Details


the artist (printed February 19, 2015);
July 7, 2015, sold to the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo


Digital prints

Work Type

Black-and-white print (photograph)
Inkjet print

This information may change due to ongoing research. Glossary of Terms

Bruce Jackson first began documenting life in America's prisons while researching the music and culture of incarceration in the summer of 1964. He went to Texas to record work songs and started photographing what he observed. A group of these photographs, taken at the Cummins Prison Farm in Arkansas (once considered the most difficult prison in the country), were the subject of the exhibition Bruce Jackson: Cummins Wide at the Albright-Knox in 2009. Many of the workers Jackson photographed were actually toiling on lands that had been slave plantations before the Civil War. As Jackson has written, prisons "continue to be grim places where American society hides its failures . . . the two primary functions shared by American prisons now are providing jobs to people in rural counties who would not otherwise have jobs, and keeping off city streets people the cities don't know what else to do with, about, or for, or just don't want to look at."

Label from Overtime: The Art of Work, March 8–May 17, 2015

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