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[Luis Ernesto Africano mail art from California prisons].
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[Luis Ernesto Africano mail art from California prisons]


Africano, Luis Ernesto, creator, creator.


Illustrated envelopes sent by Luis Ernesto Africano to his wife Janneth Africano, most created while Luis was incarcerated in San Francisco Bay Area prisons (Alameda County Santa Rita Jail, San Quentin State Prison) or living in transitional housing. Envelopes feature skilled, elaborate drawings characterized by various themes -- e.g. love, incarceration, religious faith, etc. Many drawings depict two hearts embellished by roses, birds, etc. Other subject matter includes self portraits of the artist, usually as a prisoner, and other references to incarceration (e.g. cell bars, chains, a keyhole); a woman likely representing the artist's wife; hands in prayer; the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge; cartoon characters Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse and Betty Boop; two masks; two wine glasses; and a clown. Many envelopes also feature artistic lettering. 4 envelopes include letters written by Luis to Janneth.


1993 (issued)


Africano, Luis Ernesto -- Correspondence
Mail art -- California -- Specimens
Prisoners -- California -- Correspondence
Prisoners -- Drawings
Heart in art -- Specimens


Title devised by cataloger.
Most envelopes include artist's name.
Also includes one folder of photocopies, made by Library staff, of a few pages of issue no. 3 (1997) of the zine Arte de la Mission, which reproduces many images from works in this collection, and which was acquired with this material.
Luis Ernesto Africano mail art from California prisons, BANC PIC 2021.050, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.
Purchase ; from Arthur Fournier Fine & Rare ; 2021.
Issue no. 3 of Arte de la Mission transferred to the Books Collections of The Bancroft Library.


Mail art.
Personal correspondence.
Love letters.

Physical Description:

27 drawings in 8 folders : various media on paper envelopes ; sheets 11 x 24 cm or smaller