‘Underworld: Mugshots from the Roaring Twenties’ Exhibition Preview – The Forensic Photographic Archive

November 25, 2017

Snip20171125_2Join me, Jane Raffan, Monday 27 November, for a program that revisits Sydney’s Forensic Photography Archive (FPA) – the world’s largest collection of police photographs, created by the NSW Police from 1910-1964.

Sydney Living Museums is presenting a new exhibition of photographs drawn from the archive called “Underworld: Mugshots from the Roaring Twenties”, opening at the Museum of Sydney, 9 December. Think Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries, but with a lot more grit.

The exhibition features over 130 images from the ‘Specials’ collection: 2,500 glass plate negative mugshots that continue to captivate the attention and imagination of fashion icons, artists, writers and producers, from Karl Lagerfeld to the creators of the BBC Television series Peaky Blinders.

You’ll here interviews with curator Nerida Campbell from Sydney Living Museums about the archive and its cast of characters. Focusing on the victims, perpetrators and vicinities of crime, the original ‘City of Shadows’ exhibition introduced the world to the museum’s extraordinary and compelling collection of police forensic photography dating from 1912 to 1948.

And the music? In keeping with the tenor of the show the playlist features jazz hits spawned in the twenties, some contemporary pieces influenced by the era, including all-time greats and Australian exponents.

More on the exhibition here: https://sydneylivingmuseums.com.au/exhibitions/underworld-mugshots-roaring-twenties

Book by UTS Professor Katherine Biber featuring essays related to “the criminal afterlife” of archives: https://www.routledge.com/Evidence-and-the-Archive-Ethics-Aesthetics-and-Emotion/Biber-Luker/p/book/9781138210325

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