Rina and Ali, the boombastic team at KALW Informant, alerted me to a set of portraits from 1920’s Australia of individuals categorised as criminals.

These are portraits, not mugshots. Luminous, cathartic, full of weight. They’re the pre-August Sander, pre-Richard Avedon, pre-Irving Penn masterpieces of an anonymous police photographer.

PREVIOUSLY ON PRISON PHOTOGRAPHY

The collection is very similar to a set of mugshots from the archives of the Louisiana Division/City Archives in New Orleans.

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All images from the Historic Houses Trust website and the New South Wales Police Archives, Sydney.

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