Artist who painted death row inmates’ last meals has died: NPR

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Julie Green’s The last supper is currently on display at the Bellevue Arts Museum in Bellevue, Wash. There are 800 plates in the exhibition.

Emilie Smith, Bellevue Art Museum


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Emilie Smith, Bellevue Art Museum


Julie Green’s The last supper is currently on display at the Bellevue Arts Museum in Bellevue, Wash. There are 800 plates in the exhibition.

Emilie Smith, Bellevue Art Museum

Julie Green, an artist known for painting death row inmates on hundreds of plates over decades, died earlier this month. Green was 60 years old.

Green gained notoriety for an ongoing project, titled The last supper, which consisted of hundreds of painted plates with the last meals requested by American prisoners who were to be executed.

Among the dishes requested by the detainees: a pizza for lovers of stuffed crust meat, an apple pie, shrimp, ice cream, a cola.

Green, who was an art professor at Oregon State University, came up with the idea for the project years ago after reading the last meals requested by inmates in an Oklahoma newspaper.

Julie Green’s The last supper is currently on display at the Bellevue Arts Museum in Bellevue, WA, with 800 plates in the exhibit.

Emilie Smith, Bellevue Art Museum


hide caption

toggle legend

Emilie Smith, Bellevue Art Museum


Julie Green’s The last supper is currently on display at the Bellevue Arts Museum in Bellevue, WA, with 800 plates in the exhibit.

Emilie Smith, Bellevue Art Museum

“For me, one last meal request humanizes death row,” Green said in a 2020 statement on the Bellevue Arts Museum website. “The menus provide clues to region, breed and economic background.”

The last supper is currently on display at the museum in Bellevue, Washington, with 800 plates in the exhibit. Green intended to paint 1,000 plaques if capital punishment was not outlawed.

Green then started a related project called First meal, painting what inmates who were cleared and released from prison ate for their first meal after release.

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