Untitled (Mug Shot of Mike Stone, Communist)

A work made of gelatin silver print.

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  • A work made of gelatin silver print.

Date:

1932

Artist:

Unknown police photographer
American, active Detroit, 1930s

About this artwork

In the 1930s the Communist Party enjoyed considerable support in the United States. Nevertheless, this booking card indicates that in 1932, Michigan Central Railroad police arrested Mike Stone, a politically active Pennsylvania coal miner; his crime, in a word, was “Communism.” Eight years later, Stone was charged with perjury and false pretense for gathering illegal signatures on petitions and received a possible maximum penalty of 42 years in jail. Apparently, he served a reduced term, as his name surfaced repeatedly in the early-1950s testimony of undercover FBI agent Matthew Cvetic. Photography likely played a role in Stone’s repeated arrests: mug shots, like the one seen here, had been employed in increasingly sophisticated ways for criminal identification since the late 1880s.

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Photography

Artist

Unknown

Title

Untitled (Mug Shot of Mike Stone, Communist)

Origin

United States

Date

1932

Medium

Gelatin silver print

Dimensions

7 × 11 cm (image/paper); 12.7 × 20.3 cm (card)

Credit Line

Estate of Katherine Kuh

Reference Number

1998.577

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email .

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