"Thou Art ..., Will Give ...", Photographs by Eric Kunsman
In 2003, one of my University of Arts professors, Heidi Kyle, introduced us to the American Philosophical Society's conservation lab. Almost as soon as we entered the conservation lab, I noticed three books titled 'Eastern State Warden's Logbook: I opened it idly. The Warden's entries brought the Penitentiary to life for me. While my photographs from the earlier visit captured a lot of the physical presence and feeling of the Penitentiary, it was the writings that started to, literally, flesh out the functional and human effects of this altruistic, but ultimately disastrous, Quaker experiment with reforming criminals. The body of work created demonstrates a previous attempt at prison reform from the popular European model in the 1800's. The images help viewers to understand how many things have not changed over the passing of time whether that relates to the crimes the prisoners committed or the conditions they face during incarceration.
For more information: Eric Kunsman Fine Art Photography