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Jerry West, Japanese Internment Camp (Santa Fe)

Jerry West, Japanese Internment Camp (Santa Fe)

Jerry West
born 1933 Santa Fe, New Mexico; lives Santa Fe, New Mexico
Japanese Internment Camp (Santa Fe)
2009
oil on canvas
42 x 26 in.
New Mexico Museum of Art, gift of Meridel Rubenstein, 2011, 2011.5, © 2020 Jerry West
photo by Blair Clark

Japanese Internment Camp (Santa Fe) depicts the prison as Jerry West remembers it. Seen from above, the huge vista and distant landscape contrast with the crowded rows of houses crammed inside a tall barbed-wire fence. The Santa Fe detention facility for Japanese civic and religious leaders was located near downtown. West’s father and uncle served as guards at the facility and as a youngster, he would visit them at the prison. His relatives are shown on horseback guarding the perimeter. The area has now been transformed into a middle-class subdivision.