Monday, January 08, 2007


from Smithsonian Magazine, January 2007:

"The faces are "right out of central casting," says Mark Michaelson. For a decade, the graphic designer collected old mug shots -- he got them from a retired cop in Scranton, Pennsylvania, from a file cabinet bought at a Georgia auction and stuffed with pictures, and from eBay -- until he had tens of thousands."

read entire article:
Arresting Faces

spend hours viewing Michaelson's amazing collection of archived photos:

Least Wanted


Kelly Parra said...

Wow, some of those are really great! The pictures looks so fragile. Really cool the designer kept at his collection for so many years. =D

Anne McAllister said...

Wondeerful pix, Anne. I found a mugshot at Yuma Territorial Prison once that sent me on hours and hours of research in the Prescott AZ archives to find out the background of the prisoner. Why is it that one photo will speak to you and another not?

Alex Adams said...

How fascinating! I love old photographs. I can't seem to drag myself away from the lady with the painted-on eyebrows. It's strange to think that some of those people who look like babies are probably long gone now.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Saw these mugshots at a gallery in Soho in October. You can't imagine the impact of seeing them lined up in a small space. Really sets the mind reeling.

anne frasier said...

kelly, yes it's fantastic that someone would archive them. you'd have to be kind of obsessed.

anne, isn't it true what a single image can stir up?

alex, haha! that makes me think of vertigo. can't think of the actress, but her eyebrows were always painted on and sometimes they were really uneven, and often they were a little different design. i always wondered if that was intentional.

patti, i knew i'd read something about this earlier. maybe you mentioned in on your blog.

Anonymous said...

I love that! What a treasure trove.

Daniel Hatadi said...

We have something like this going in Sydney, called City Of Shadows. Here's an article and some photos. They also have a book which I bought when it came out and look at every so often for inspiration. I just love to smell the binding glue too.

anne frasier said...

jason, it would be easy to spend all day looking at the images.

daniel -- wow! thanks for the links. the photos are AMAZING AND WONDERFUL! i would love to have seen the presentation that went along with them. haunting. and if those are prostitutes...well...they were much better looking back then.

and as granny always said, nothin' wrong with a little glue sniffin'.

Daniel Hatadi said...

But when you quit glue, you REALLY have to pick the right day.

Here's a little writeup I did of my own experience at the exhibition. I hope you like it.

anne frasier said...

oooh, very nice!! thanks for the link! such a cool exhibit.