UVA Law Library Art Show to Feature Sketches From Notorious 20th-Century Courtroom Trials

Cordel Faulk

Courtroom sketch artist Ida Libby Dengrove illustrated courtroom images such as this 1984 scene involving producer Jack Douglas and Yoko Ono.

August 28, 2014

The 17th annual University of Virginia Law Library art show will feature the courtroom sketches of Ida Libby Dengrove , who documented some of the most famous trials in the 20th century.

An opening reception for the show is set for Sept. 4, 5-7 p.m. on the second floor of the library. The works will be on display through June 2015 and are available for viewing during regular library hours.

Dengrove's work in pen, pastels and watercolors, which spans nearly three decades, gave the American public a look inside the judicial system at a time when cameras were barred from courtrooms.

"What makes this so special is how she captures the emotions of the people in a way a camera couldn't in those days," said UVA Law Library Director Taylor Fitchett.

Dengrove, who died in 2005, earned the first of two Emmys for her work on the David "Son of Sam" Berkowitz trial. She sketched John Gotti, John Lennon and Sid Vicious as defendants; Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis as a plaintiff; and Mick Jagger as a witness. She also recorded court proceedings extending from Watergate and Vietnam. Some 6,000 sketches were donated recently by Dengrove's children to the library's Special Collections Department.


Founded in 1819, the University of Virginia School of Law is the second-oldest continuously operating law school in the nation. Consistently ranked among the top law schools, Virginia is a world-renowned training ground for distinguished lawyers and public servants, instilling in them a commitment to leadership, integrity and community service.

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