Police Pictures

The Photograph as Evidence

Police Pictures

Tom Howard
The Electrocution of Ruth Snyder
1928
Collection SFMOMA

October 17, 1997 - January 20, 1998

The images featured in this exhibition include a dark street scene of a slain gangster, a gun lying casually in the foreground; a collection of 19th-century women with fur-collared capes and feathered hats, labeled as pickpockets and shoplifters; the blood-streaked corpse of a man whose face is obscured by a handwritten sign reading "Dead Bandit"; and a young Cambodian with a number pinned to his shirt, held against a wall by an unseen captor. The exhibition, Police Pictures: The Photograph as Evidence, explores the use of photography as a method for identifying the criminal and how this process is inherent in nineteenth-century ideas.

Police Pictures: The Photograph as Evidence is made possible by the National Endowment for the Arts, a Federal agency. Additional support is generously provided by Mrs. Walter A. Haas, Jr. From SFMOMA the exhibition will travel to the Grey Art Gallery and Study Center at New York University and remain on view there from May 19 through July 18, 1998.