Snapshots of the roaring twenties comes to Ipswich

14 September 2018

Meet the players of Sydney’s underworld in the new photographic exhibition Underworld: Mugshots from the Roaring Twenties at The Workshops Rail Museum from 15 September 2018 to 24 February 2019.

 

The collection of over 130 candid and compelling mugshots documents a golden era for criminals - the roaring twenties.

 

Queensland Museum Network Acting CEO Dr Jim Thompson said it was thrilling to see this collection travel from Sydney Living Museums to Queensland, giving new audiences the opportunity to see these true crime stories come to life.

 

“The roaring twenties was an era of dramatic social change, driving new markets post-World War One, that in effect created new opportunity for the criminal underbelly to develop their own illegal markets.”

 

“These mugshots convey a clear snapshot of this time, putting the attitudes and fashion of the illicit figures front and centre, leaving the onlooker with the sense that they are right there behind the camera,” Dr Thompson said.

 

Infamous underworld figures photographed include illegal alcohol and drug dealer Kate Leigh and club owner and sly grogger Phil ‘The Jew’ Jeff.

 

“We know the names, now we have the chance to meet them face-to-face and hear their stories,” Dr Thompson said.

 

The exhibition examines the era’s social history, the criminal underworld and the police who tried to prosecute them.

 

The Workshops Rail Museum will further enrich the exhibition with its own local stories.

 

“Visitors are often fascinated by the glitz and glam of the roaring twenties; and we are pleased to display this exhibition at the historic site that the Museum sits on,” Dr Thompson said.

 

“On display are glass plate negatives from the Queensland Museum collection and visitors have the opportunity to hear rail justice stories from the era.”

 

Prohibition Party on 21 September 2018 will transform the Museum into a speakeasy night spot with electro-swing, swing dance demonstrations and a games parlour.

 

A monthly Speakeasy Saturday series will also complement the exhibition with topical talks and workshops on true crime, police forensics and photography.

 

Underworld: Mugshots from the Roaring Twenties is on from 15 September 2018 to 24 February 2019 at The Workshops Rail Museum and is included with Museum entry.

 

Just the facts:

Exhibition

  • Underworld: Mugshots from the Roaring Twenties
  • 15 September 2018 to 24 February 2019
  • 9:30am-4pm
  • The Workshops Rail Museum
  • North Street, North Ipswich
  • Included with Museum entry

Special Event

  • Prohibition Party
  • Friday, 21 September 2018
  • 6pm-9pm
  • The Workshops Rail Museum
  • North Street, North Ipswich
  • Adults $21.00
  • 18+ event
  • Bookings essential

Museum Programming

  • Speakeasy Saturdays
  • 6 October, 3 November, 1 December 2018 & 19 January 2019
  • 9:30am-4pm
  • The Workshops Rail Museum
  • North Street, North Ipswich
  • Included with Museum entry

Visit theworkshops.qm.qld.gov.au for details.