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Julie Green Papers, 1983-2021

By Karl McCreary

Collection Overview

Title: Julie Green Papers, 1983-2021

Predominant Dates: 1998-2006

ID: MSS GreenJ

Primary Creator: Green, Julie, 1961-2021

Extent: 1.5 cubic feet. More info below.

Arrangement: This collection is arranged into 5 series: 1. Photographs, 1983-2009; 2. Exhibit Information, 1989-2020; 3. Newspaper Clippings, 1986-2006; 4. Publications, 2001-2021; and 5. Moving Images and Sound Files, 2001-2008.

Date Acquired: 00/00/2018

Languages of Materials: English [eng], Japanese [jpn], Chinese [chi]


The Julie Green Papers document paintings and other art works created and exhibited by Art Professor Julie Green. Along with photographs of their pieces, this collection includes published information about exhibitions of Green's art, in particular, "The Last Supper" series. Joining the Oregon State University Art Department in 2000, Green taught coursework in painting and drawing. They died in 2021.

Scope and Content Notes

The Julie Green Papers document paintings and other art works created and exhibited by Art Professor Julie Green. Along with photographs taken by Green depicting their art, this collection includes publications featuring articles and announcements about exhibits of Green's work that were published in newspapers, books, articles, magazines, event programs, flyers, and posters.

The moving images and sound files feature recordings of interviews with Green broadcast on TV and radio programs. Two of the moving image files are related to "The Big World" exhibit which Green curated and produced in 2009. These files are available digitally upon request.

Biographical / Historical Notes

Julie Green was born in Yokosuka, Japan, in 1961. Julie's father, who was stationed in Japan with the U.S. Navy, returned to the U.S. when Julie was two and settled the family in Des Moines, Iowa. Though their childhood in Yokosuka was brief, Green developed an affinity with Japanese culture and art, returning there to reside for a year and a half in the early 1990s. Green explored this sense of being grounded in two cultures in a 1999 exhibition of paintings at the University of Oklahoma. This show, "Yoklahoma", blended together Green's cultural association inspired by their birthplace and their life in the American Midwest.

After high school, Green attended the University of Kansas to study art and earned a BFA there in 1983. They returned to the University of Kansas a few years later and completed a MFA in 1996. Green's teaching career began at the University of Oklahoma in 1997. In 2000, they joined the Art Department at Oregon State University as an assistant professor.

As an instructional specialty and a medium for their art, Green focused on painting. Their painted works occasionally incorporated elements of mixed media. One such piece, "The Hunting Season" was exhibited early in Green's career in 1986 and featured a painted sheet of woven paper attached by a string to a scrap of lumber. Green also worked on installation pieces for shows such as "Dead Dog Shrine" which they displayed at the University of Oklahoma in 1999. Over the course of their life, Green's artwork was exhibited in 42 different shows in the United States, England, and Japan.

Of Green's works that had garnered the most recognition was a series of paintings began in 2000 called the "Last Supper". Green used white porcelain plates as their canvas to depict representations of the final meal requested by death-row inmates before their execution. A blue mineral paint was chosen to portray the food and each plate contained the date of death and the state where the execution took place. Openly opposed to the death penalty, Green felt moved to illustrate the meals of condemned prisoners after reading newspaper announcements about periodic executions in Oklahoma that would include "menus" of what had been requested as the final meal. Passionate about the community building power of food and cooking, Green sought to use the symbology of food to encourage debate about what they perceived as a lingering injustice. In framing their art to communicate social concerns and ideas, Green credited the influence of Roger Shimomura, their major professor and mentor at the University of Oklahoma.

Vowing to keep the project going until "we no longer have capital punishment", Green continued to work on the Last Supper for 21 years. When they concluded the series in 2021, the total number of plates stood at 1000.

The Last Supper series received worldwide attention. Media sources as diverse as the New York Times, National Public Radio, Gastronomica, Ceramics Monthly, and Rolling Stone featured articles and interviews with Green on the plates and their message. First displayed at OSU in 2003 in a show of Art Department faculty works, plates from the Last Supper series have been extensively exhibited at a number of galleries, among them were: the Hunter Museum of American Art, the Bellevue Arts Museum, the University of Liverpool Art Museum, the University of Nebraska, the COPIA Museum of Art, Wine, and Food (University of California-Santa Cruz), and the Corvallis Art Center.

In 2018, Green began work on a series of painted plates that re-oriented the focus of the message embodied in the Last Supper. Through these new works, collectively called the "First Meal", Green represented food and stories associated with the first meal enjoyed after wrongfully accused death-row prisoners were officially exonerated and released. In 2023, the Oregon State University Press published the book First Meal which features a selection of plates from this series and details of stories behind Green's imagery in them.

Green received a number of awards and grants in support of their art. Among these included the Joan Mitchell Foundation Grant for Painters and Sculptors, the 2015 ArtPrize 3-D Juried Award, an Oregon Arts Commission fellowship, and Hallie Ford fellowship.

Green died in 2021.

Author: Karl McCreary

Administrative Information

More Extent Information: 1937 photographs; 3 boxes; including 1 oversize box.

Statement on Access: Collection is open for research.

Acquisition Note: This collection was donated by Julie Green to the Oregon State University Special Collections and Archives Research Center in 2018 and 2021.

Related Materials: Art Department faculty and instruction at Oregon State University is also documented in a number of other collections, including: the Oregon State University Memorabilia Collection (MSS MC); the College of Liberal Arts Records (RG 143); the Gwil Evans Photographic Collection (P 082); the Oregon State University Historical Photographs (P 025); and the News and Communication Services Photographs Collection (P 057). Drawings rendered as scientific illustrations by OSU faculty and others are documented in the following collections: the Bonnie B. Hall Botanical Prints (MSS HallB); the Roger Hayward Papers (MSS Hayward); the Helen M. Gilkey Papers (MSS GilkeyH); and the Marian Field Collection (MSS Field). The Valley Library Art Collection Records (RG 297) contain details about artworks acquired as a part of the Oregon Percent for Art Program and installed in the OSU Library during that structures' renovation in the 1990s. Photographs and exhibit catalogs in the Watercolor Society of Oregon Records (MSS Watercolor) reflect artworks created by members of that organization, which was co-founded by OSU botanist and artist Tom Allen.

Preferred Citation: Julie Green Papers (MSS GreenJ), Oregon State University Special Collections and Archives Research Center, Corvallis, Oregon.


Green, Julie, 1961-2021

People, Places, and Topics

Art--Study and teaching (Higher)--Oregon--Corvallis.
Death row inmates -- United States
Painted Pottery -- Exhibitions
Plates (Tableware) in Art -- Exhibitions
Shimomura, Roger, 1939-Artist.
University History

Forms of Material

Digital moving image formats.
Slides (photographs).

Box and Folder Listing

Series 1: Photographs, 1983-2009
Series 1 is made up of photographic images depicting Julie Green's artwork. Primarily made up of slides portraying a single painting or sculpture, some of the images depict Green's works on display in various exhibits and installations. In total, there are 1937 physical photographs (1915 slides and 22 negatives) and 372 digital images. The photographs saved as digital files are available digitally upon request.
Box-Folder 1.1: Cats, 2007
Images of Green's three pet cats, Rio, Cleo, and Henry James.
Box-Folder 1.2: Checkmate Exhibit, 2002
Views of the "Checkmate" exhibit at OSU featuring work by Green and Clay Lohmann.
Box-Folder 1.3: Dead Dog Shrine Exhibit and Installation, 1999
Box-Folder 1.4: Grey Horse Album Series, 2002
Box-Folder 1.5: Images of Artwork Submitted as Part of the Promotion and Tenure Process, 2004
Images selected by Green to accompany their candidate statement promotion at OSU to associate professor in the Art Department Each of the 20 slides are identified by title and dated, representing works from 1986 to 2003.
Box-Folder 1.6 - 1.7 : The Last Supper Series - Individual Plate Views, 2000-2009
2 folders.
Box-Folder 1.8: The Last Supper Series - Installation Views, 2001-2003
Includes depictions of the The Last Supper as exhibited at OSU in 2003.
Box-Folder 1.9: MFA (Master's of Fine Arts) Works, 1993-1996
These slides depict paintings identified as being completed during Green's MFA program at the University of Kansas. Green graduated with their MFA in 1996.
Box-Folder 1.10: Pre-Set Bridge Series, 2001-2003
Box-Folder 1.11: Process Painting, 1999
A series of eight views showing the evolving completion of the painting "Our Flesh is Grass."
Box-Folder 1.12: Residency Artists/Places/Early Paintings, 1986-2004
These images depict a combination of early works by Green, views of art inside of a house, and pieces by other artists. The other artists represented include: Deborah Brackenbury, Sebastian Mendes, Maria Levitsky, Traci Tullius, Jonathan Berger, and Jaune Quick.
Box-Folder 1.13: Sketch Book, 1995-1997
Box-Folder 1.14: Sleep Well and Long Series, 2002
Box-Folder 1.15: Tondo Series, 2005-2006
Images depict both the individual paintings and the works on display as an installation.
Box-Folder 1.16: Tulsa Race Massacre Exhibit, Undated
Color negatives.
Box-Folder 1.17: Twenty Pound Ledger Series, 1993-2000
Box-Folder 1.18 - 1.25: Various Paintings, 1983-2009
8 folders.
Box-Folder 1.26: Yoklahoma: Yokohama-Oklahoma Exhibit/Installation, 1999
Digital Folder 1: Photographs, 2005-2008
This folder contains 372 digital photographs. Made up of TIF and JPEG files, these images primarily depict plates Green produced as part of "The Last Supper" series. These photographs show a combination of individual plate views and the plates mounted on display as part of an exhibit. A smaller grouping of images identified simply as "Rachel Hines" was also found amongst these photographs. Included in this folder are three text files with caption information prepared for installations of "The Last Supper". These files are available upon request.
Series 2: Exhibit Information, 1989-2020
Series 2 contains documentation of gallery exhibits, installations, and shows featuring Green's art. In addition to programs, this series includes mailers, flyers, posters, lists of paintings, and viewer comments from one of the showings of The Last Supper. There are also materials relating to exhibitions of artwork from painter Roger Shimomura, who was Green's MFA advisor at the Univerity of Kansas and who they described as their mentor.
Box-Folder 1.27 - 1.28: Exhibit Information, 1993-2020
2 folders.
Box-Folder 1.29: Lists of Paintings, Undated
Box-Folder 1.30: Viewer Comments from an Exhibit of The Last Supper, 2006
Box-Folder 1.31 - 1.32: Roger Shimomura Artwork Exhibitions, 1989-2010
2 folders.
Box-Folder 1.33: OSU Students of Green, 2002-2016
Information about exhibits and works by Julie Green students Tala Madani and Gary Dewhurst.
Box-Folder 3.1: Posters, 2005-2015
Series 3: Newspaper Clippings and Articles, 1986-2013
Series 3 is comprised of stories, essays, and articles featured in newspapers and magazines about Green's art.
Box-Folder 1.34: Newspaper Clippings and Articles, 1986-2013
Box-Folder 3.1: Newspaper Clippings, 2006
Series 4: Publications, 2001-2021
Series 4 is made up of magazines, books, journals, and other publications featuring articles on Green's art.
Box-Folder 1.35: American Craft, 2014 (Vol. 74, No. 2)
"Bearing Witness: Julie Green's plates humanize prisoners facing the death penalty."
Box-Folder 1.36: Ceramics Monthly, 2011
"Last Supper".
Box-Folder 1.37: CLA ALUM, 2003 (Vol. 20, No. 2)
"The Last Supper: Artist Julie Green explores the complex and controversial nature of the death penalty through a body of work depicting the last meals of death row inmates."
Box-Folder 1.38: Crafts, 2020 (no. 282)
"Dinner Service."
Box-Folder 1.39: December , 2014 (Vol. 25.2)
"Julie Green: The Last Supper".
Box-Folder 1.40: Figuring: A Publication of the Ford Family Visual Arts Program. , 2021
"Julie Green: Flown"
Box-Folder 1.41: Frontiers: A Journal of Women Studies , 2001 (Vol. 22, No. 1)
"Julie Green" Contains the article and the journal cover only.
Box-Folder 2.1: Gastronomica , 2011 (Vol. 11, No. 1)
"The Last Supper"
Box-Folder 2.2: Kansas Alumni  , 2015 (Vol. 113, No. 3)
"Food for thought: Painter's depictions of death-row meals spark capital punishment debate."
Box-Folder 2.3: The Leading Edge: Liberal Arts in Action , 2016
"Colorful collaborations: Art student Madelaine Corbin's work in a chemistry lab has deepened her understanding of pigment."
Box-Folder 2.4: The Nation , 2014 (Vol. 298, No. 21 - May 26)
"Last Supper Denied"
Box-Folder 2.5: Northwestern: Alumni and Friends of Northwestern University , 2015 (Vol. 18, No. 2)
"Engaging Arts: The Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art has become more than a place to see exhibits-it's now a driving force for collaboration across campus and beyond."
Box-Folder 2.6: Prison Culture , 2009
"Plates and Poetry"¬†  This book was published by the City Lights Foundation.
Box-Folder 2.7: Proteus: A Journal of Ideas , 2007 (Vol. 24, No. 2)
"The Last Supper"
Box-Folder 2.8: Picnic Brownies Make Life Easy , 2018
A published reproduction (fascimile?) of a scrapbook assembled by Green with collected recipes, newspaper clippings, e-mail messages, and photographs. Produced as a part of an Oregon Arts Commission Career Opportunity Grant. Identified as #108 of a print run of 250 copies. Several pages from this publication are available for viewing here.
Box-Folder 2.9: The Reader (No. 24), 2006
"The little artist that could: Jane Davis talks to artist Julie Green."
Box-Folder 2.10: Terra , 2012
"Plates of honor: Julie Green memorializes final choices by death-row prisoners."
Box-Item 2.1: Confrontational Ceramics, 2008
An entry in this book on Julie Green's "Last Supper" series. University of Pennsylvania Press.
Box-Item 2.2: A World of Art, 2016
Textbook written by OSU Art Professor Henry M. Sayre. Two references to Green's art that includes the feature "The Creative Process: Ceramics as politics-Julie Green's The Last Supper."
Box-Item 2.3: The Last Supper: 500 Plates , 2013
Published to accompany the solo exhibition of the Last Supper at the Corvallis Arts Center.
Series 5: Moving Images and Sound Files, 2001-2008

Series 5 is made up of digital files containing moving images and a sound recording. Of the four moving image productions in this series, three were designed to be displayed on continuous loop at two art exhibits organized by Julie Green. One of these was featured as a part of a showing of the "Last Supper" plates in 2003 and contains narration by Green. The other two exhibit-related videos pertain to the 2009 OSU show, "The Big World". The fourth moving image is a video clip recorded from a TV news broadcast reporting on an exhibit of the "Last Supper" at OSU. This aired in 2003 on the Portland-based Fox TV affiliate station.

The sound file is a recording of an interview with Julie Green about their "Last Supper" series that was broadcast on the National Public Radio program "The Splendid Table" in 2003. These files are available digitally upon request.

Digital Folder 2: Moving Images and Sound Files, 2001-2008

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