What is Arresting Images?
- Arresting Images is an award-winning travelling exhibition that started its travels in 2009 - the 100th anniversary year of the Ontario Provincial Police. Since that time, it has been hosted by museums and galleries across Ontario to resounding success.
- Arresting Images features 100 mug shots (1886 - 1908) from The OPP Museum’s collection. These images are reproduced and presented at their actual size so both the photographs on the front of the mug shot, and the descriptions of the suspect on the back, are displayed.
- Arresting Images includes the two earliest known mug shots (1886) in a public collection, in Canada.
- Arresting Images documents a unique historic encounter between the police of the time (the Niagara Ontario Police – forebears to the present-day Ontario Provincial Police) and suspects and criminals of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
- Arresting Images provides a unique perspective on the social history of Ontario in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and the practices of early policing in Ontario. The exhibition highlights historical themes and social circumstances that provide a backdrop to the stories of the individuals featured in the exhibition. The emerging use of photographic portraits as a police identification tool is also explored.
- Arresting Images offers hosting institutions fun and fascinating children’s activity programming options.
- Arresting Images is a bilingual exhibition, presented in English and French.
Arresting Images was generously sponsored by the OPP Commissioned Officers' Association and supported by the Museum Assistance Program, Department of Canadian Heritage.
Purchase an Arresting Images catalogue/box set
Find out more about this fascinating subject through the Arresting Images catalogue, available by mail order from the OPP Off Duty ShOPP, or at selected hosting venues.
Each face is compelling; every set of eyes hints at a story. One hundred mug shots, dating from 1886 to 1908, are featured in the Arresting Images catalogue and box set. Accompanying the 100 postcards of the original carte-de-visite photographs is a 32-page booklet that puts this intriguing collection into the context of the times.
Where can I see the exhibit?
May 8 - August 31, 2013
Kamloops Museum & Archives
207 Seymour Street
Kamloops, BC V2C 2E7
January 7 - March 31, 2013
RCMP Heritage Centre
5907 Dewdney Avenue
October 10 - November 15, 2012
Lake of the Woods Museum
June 11 - September 2, 2012
Thunder Bay Museum
Thunder Bay, Ontario
January 17, 2012 - March 24, 2012
Durham Gallery, Sault Ste. Marie Museum
Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario
October 22 - December 9, 2011
Helen McClung Gallery, Archives of Ontario
April 2 – May 19, 2011
Aurora Historical Society
January 17 – March 25, 2011
Stratford Perth Museum
September 18, 2010 – January 3, 2011
Canada Science and Technology Museum
June 5 – September 12, 2010
April 12 – May 23, 2010
February 27 – April 5, 2010
Wellington County Museum
January 9 – February 21, 2010
The Station Gallery
October 8 – December 20, 2009
Guelph Civic Museum
July 19 – September 14, 2009
Simcoe County Museum
May 31 – July 12, 2009
Art Gallery of Peel
In October of 2009, the Ontario Museum Association presented The OPP Museum an Award of Excellence for Arresting Images – a travelling exhibition that has made an outstanding contribution to the Ontario museum community.
Arresting Images: Quick Facts about the Exhibition
- Arresting Images shares with the public a rare collection of historical photographic portraits from The OPP Museum’s permanent collection.
- This travelling exhibition consists of 100 reproductions of criminal photo cards (mug shots), dating from 1886 to 1908, and an exhibit catalogue containing the details for each portrait and a discussion of themes being explored.
- Mug shots are records that contain sensitive personal information. Each photograph is more than 100 years old. In each case, legal right of access was assessed.
- Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy legislation and provincial archival guidelines were meticulously followed.
- The curatorial selection of the featured photographs was a lengthy, methodical process. Each individual’s story was approached with care and within the context of historical inquiry.
- The portraits selected for the exhibition represent a cross section of age, gender, ethnicity, religious, and socio-economic backgrounds of individuals featured in the historic collection. The exhibition’s standards for research, design, publication and marketing reflect a clear commitment to the integrity of the historical record.
- The primary interpretive focus of Arresting Images is the collection of photographic portraits, both for what they reveal as images, and for what they tell us as historic documents.