The exploits of Ned Kelly and other notorious criminal figures of the nineteenth century continue to hold a grip on the imagination, as do the curious and even disturbing attitudes which determined that the portraits and stories of such figures made a suitable form of public entertainment. Featuring a spooky and sometimes disquieting selection of portraits in various formats, Sideshow Alley: infamy, the macabre & the portrait will map the ways in which artists, photographers, entrepreneurs and others made use of portraits of Australian convicts and criminals: the canny or unscrupulous publishers trading in salacious prints and penny dreadfuls; the otherwise respectable people who put cartes de visite of serial killers into their family albums; the photographic studios doing a brisk trade in portraits of heroes and villains; and the waxworks proprietors who, with their 'Chambers of Horrors', turned violence, misfortune and the macabre into a lucrative art form.
National Portrait Gallery
Infamy, the Macabre and the Portrait
Art & Fashion