Celebrity Mug Shots

December 18, 2011 by staff 

Celebrity Mug Shots, The eyes stare hauntingly across time. Outfitted in bowlers, ties and jackets, newly minted criminals gaze unflinchingly at photographers hired by Ontario police to record freshly arrested crooks in the Niagara area in the late 1800s and early 1900s.

The 100 striking photographs in “Arresting Images” have been selected from 474 mug shots found at the OPP’s Niagara regional headquarters during some housecleaning in the 1960s.

Culled from hundreds of well-preserved studio cards, the photographs are on display at the Helen McClung Gallery at the Archives of Ontario building at York University until Dec. 9.

They aren’t mug shots as we’ve come to know them today. These aren’t the dishevelled Lindsay Lohans, Paris Hiltons or Nick Noltes of their day, dragged into sterile police rooms to face cops clicking a camera.

They’re mostly petty criminals, arrested for pickpocketing or fraud, hauled off to private photo studios, which at the turn of the last century were still a curiosity.

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