December 7, 2021

UBP & CaP online event: Portraits of Crime? The ethics of displaying real lives and people

Understanding British Portraits (UBP) and the Crime and Punishment Collections Network (CaP) are delighted to be collaborating to host this thought-provoking online session which will examine the display and interpretation of criminal justice portraiture.

Register here

The theme of criminal justice portraiture will cover the spectrum of the frequently replicated images of ‘mugshots’ held or displayed by police force museums or archives; images gathered during police work — for example surveillance photographs of the suffragettes; replications of mugshots employed for self-expression — see the National Portrait Gallery’s Peter Gary Tatchell, Queer Terrorist — or for commercial products; artistic interpretations such as Myra by Marcus Harvey; or ‘curated’ portraits of criminals such as Ronnie Kray drinking with Baron Boothby. The session will also look at the work of Koestler Arts and the self-portraits painted by their artists who have been, or are currently going through, the criminal justice system.

The following expert speakers will explore complex ethical challenges around curatorial interpretation, access, consent, agency, individual rights or legacy which may be raised in displaying such portraits:

  • Corinne Brazier: Heritage Manager, West Midlands Police Museum
  • Fiona Curran: director of arts, Koestler Arts; plus a Koestler artist
  • Professor Helen Johnston: Professor of criminology, University of Hull; principal and co-investigator of Our Criminal Past / Our Criminal Ancestors
  • Jackie Keily: Freelance curator; exhibition: the Crime Museum Uncovered
  • Dr Kate West: Lecturer in visual criminology, Oxford Brookes University

The event has been programmed by Dr Angie Sutton-Vane, Chair of CaP and visiting fellow in the History Department at the Open University, and will be chaired by Dr Sutton-Vane in partnership with Professor Heather Shore, historian of crime and youth justice at Manchester Metropolitan University.

West Midlands, England, Criminal Registers, 1850-1933: Male and juveniles 1870-1879 (detail), available online via Reproduced with kind permission of the West Midlands Police Museum

West Midlands, England, Criminal Registers, 1850-1933: Male and juveniles 1870-1879 (detail), available online via Reproduced with kind permission of the West Midlands Police Museum.


Latest Updates on Twitter

We will be running our Lost Prisons of Dublin walking tours on Friday, 19 August for #HeritageWeek2022. The south of the Liffey tour includes the former sites of the Four Courts Marshalea, 'Old' Newgate Gaol and the 'Black Dog' prison 1/2

New post and marvellous maps alert!
Check out @ShropArchives post on their latest digitisation efforts and use of @Preservica software:

Amazing sculptures, the wonderful ⁩Kelpies, mythical legend and industrial heritage ⁦@scottishcanals⁩ brilliant tour this morning

Yorkshire's lost railways and stations hidden in tunnels and woods

Stones were thrown so she kept them & called them her 'jewels'. Meet the inspiring WSPU #suffragette & #birmingham #teacher #votesforwomen speaker Cicely Neale (Lucas) who also #boycott the gov #census Big thanks Jill Kashi #westwoodheath History Soc for getting her on our map!

Here's a sneak peak at our late 19th/early 20th century court housing scene being assembled ready for the Unlocking the Treasures, Revealing the Past exhibition which starts next week! (Tuesday 9th August) #whatwillyoudiscover? @jrlthull @hull_libraries @Hull_Museums

Exciting Police History Society conference in November- please see our website for details - you can attend for the day or for the weekend for fantastic networking and talks

Can you help Emma Tsoneva, a postgraduate student with the Open University, currently researching her final Master's project.

Emma is looking at cultural heritage and the ways it represents women and impacts women’s community development on Hessle Road.