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Linda Brenner: Ghost Cats

These sculptures represent the colony of cats that took up residence in the prison grounds after the closing of the Penitentiary in 1971. It is a testimony to survival.

TAKE CARE OF GOD’S ANIMALS AND HE WILL TAKE CARE OF YOU



This hand written sign hung on a feeding station at ESP. For twenty-eight years Dan McCloud (Dan the Cat Man) came to the prison three times a week to care for and feed his 30-40 jailhouse cats. In 1993 the cats were trapped and neutered by the Spayed Club. The population dwindled and several years later Dan turned the cat care over to the staff at ESP.

The "ghosts" of these cats are represented by white castings and were modeled to reflect the physical body type of the animals from the original colony. The installation debuted with 39 sculptures, which have dwindled to 13 in 2010. The remaining cats are dispersed throughout the prison where they can be seen on the self-guided tour. (Can you find them all?)

This is the first installation project by Linda Brenner and is dedicated to the memory of Dan McCloud.

Linda Brenner received a BFA in sculpture from Rhode Island School of Design and attended the University of Pennsylvania and Tyler School of Art. She is the recipient of a Leeway Foundation WOO award and a Pennsylvania Council on the Arts SOS grant. Linda currently teaches at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and works on collaborative projects making architectural models besides maintaining a sculpture studio in Philadelphia.