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.
Currently Off View
- Untitled (Mug Shot of Mike Stone, Communist)
- United States
- Gelatin silver print
- 7 × 11 cm (image/paper); 12.7 × 20.3 cm (card)
- Estate of Katherine Kuh