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Drawing, Sailing Ship

Alcatraz Island, Part of Golden Gate National Recreation Area, National Park Service

Alcatraz Island, Part of Golden Gate National Recreation Area, National Park Service

Many inmates occupied their free time by drawing and painting. The wide variety of subject matter reflected inmate interests and longings. These included cartoons of officers and fellow inmates, plans for suburban homes, portraits of beautiful women, and renderings of exciting, downtown San Francisco, which was so near yet so far away. During World War II (1941-45), much inmate art had a patriotic theme that supported the war effort – just as inmates supported the war effort by making products for the military.

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