Eastern State Penitentiary Unveils New Artist Installations and Newly Restored Al Capone’s Cell

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Eastern State Penitentiary Unveils New Artist Installations and Newly Restored Al Capone’s Cell

May 2, 2019

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Philadelphia, PA (April 2, 2019) – Eastern State Penitentiary Historic Site announces new and updated programming for its 2019 season, kicking off Thursday, May 2, 2019. The historic site welcomes three new site-specific artist installations and unveils a newly restored Al Capone’s Cell exhibit.

Al Capone’s Cell Reopens May 2, 2019
The historic site debuts a newly restored Al Capone’s Cell exhibit on May 2. Recent conservation efforts return one cell to how it likely appeared in the late 1920s when Capone was incarcerated at Eastern State. A second cell interprets the history of artistry that was uncovered during the conservation process.

Initial preservation efforts started in January 2019. Conservators began work with the ultimate goal of replastering the walls of the cell used for the exhibit so that the quality of the architectural finishes would match that of the furniture. The scope of the project changed, however, when this process revealed unexpected evidence of decorative paint schemes present in the penitentiary during its time as an active prison.

For the first time, the Al Capone’s Cell exhibit includes not one but two cells—one cell recreates Capone’s cell to how it likely appeared during his incarceration at Eastern State, while the other leaves the evidence of these paint schemes exposed.

New Artwork Debuts May 2, 2019
Visitors to the historic site can view three new artist installations beginning May 2. The installations were chosen for their ability to address Eastern State’s primary themes—including perspectives on the contemporary American criminal justice system and the penitentiary’s fascinating past—with a memorable, thought-provoking approach.

Season Opening Reception – May 2, 2019
To celebrate the 2019 season, Eastern State Penitentiary will host an opening reception on Thursday, May 2 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.This event is free and open to the public. Light refreshments served.


May 2, 2019
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Eastern State Penitentiary
2027 Fairmount Avenue
Philadelphia, PA United States
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(215) 236-3300
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