After two centuries of incremental growth, the number of correctional facilities and museums in the United States tripled, from roughly 600 prisons and 6,000 museums in 1975 to more than 1,800 prisons and 18,000 museums by 2005. — Places Journal
As unprecedented hunger strikes continue at Guantánamo Bay and in California federal prisons, two recent features on Places explore the politics and aesthetics of prison design.
In an essay adapted from his book Corrections and Collections, Joe Day compares the proliferation of American prisons and museums since the 1960s and finds intriguing parallels in how institutional architectures have responded to cultural movements from Minimalism to post-Millenialism. Art and crime collide in buildings from Jeremy Bentham's Panopticon through Frank Lloyd Wright's Guggenheim to contemporary work by Peter Zumthor, Rem Koolhaas and others.
In Geographies of Detention, adapted from an exhibition at the California Museum of Photography, Catherine Gudis and Molly McGarry present art and documentary work, by Sandow Birk, Alyse Emdur, Richard Ross and the Guantánamo Public Memory Project, that investigates prison landscapes.