Tuesday 7th December from 11.00 to 14.00: Online
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.
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.
Five 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:
Opening introductions by Chairs: Professor Heather Shore / Dr Angie Sutton-Vane
Speaker: Corinne Brazier, West Midlands Police Museum: In focus: West Midlands Police mugshot collection
Speaker: Jackie Keily: Peopling the Crime Museum Uncovered: The role of portraits in personalising an exhibition narrative
Speaker: Fiona Curran, Koestler Arts: Portraiture as practised by those in a secure setting – the Koestler Arts experience
Questions for the first three speakers
TWENTY MINUTE BREAK
Speaker: Professor Heather Shore, Manchester Metropolitan University: Picturing infamy: From portrait to mugshot
Speaker: Professor Helen Johnston, University of Hull: Arresting images: Ethics, photography and the Victorian/Edwardian criminal justice system
Questions for the two speakers
TEN MINUTE BREAK
Round table discussion with speakers and Chairs
The event will be chaired by Dr Angie Sutton-Vane, Chair of CaP and visiting fellow in the History Department at the Open University, and Professor Heather Shore, historian of crime and youth justice at Manchester Metropolitan University.