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The Line, Texas, 1968 (work of art)

Artwork Info

Danny Lyon
Artist Details
1968, printed 1981
12 3/8 x 18 5/16 in.
(31.43 x 46.51 cm)


In the late 1960s, Danny Lyon began production on a book about the Texas Department of Corrections and the inmates detained within its prison system, titled Conversations with the Dead (1971). The Line, Texas, 1968, comes from this series. While photographing these inmates, Lyon became friends with many of the men. His book included not only images, but also letters written by the inmates and written sections of their prison records.

Unlike the photograph of the bikers Cal and Eileen, the identities of the men in this image have been removed. Rather than existing as distinct individuals, they become a line of prisoners, identical in their incarcerated state. In other images from the series, Lyon refers to his subjects only by the number of years they have been sentenced to serve, not by their names, further preserving this sense of anonymity.



  • The Line, Texas, 1968 by Danny Lyon