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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.

Prison and death in the 19th century

Two iBooks of authentic records

These books include sixteen inmates including Ned Kelly, Captain Moonlite and Frederick Deeming and twelve sketches of the deceased, including several children. For Year 7 – 9 students.

These two books were produced in association with the exhibition Sideshow Alley: Infamy, the macabre & the portrait.

Notorious Prisoners from Victoria and New South Wales, 1975–92

'Making iron work without authority', 'Having newspapers' and 'Receiving tea improperly' – such were the misdemeanours of Andrew George Scott aka Captain Moonlite while serving time in gaol between 1874 and 1878. See his record alongside those of Ned Kelly and other perpetrators of more heinous crimes, such as Frederick Deeming. 

Each record includes a photograph and hand-written account of the appearance and acivity of the inmates – including their charge and sentence – and in some cases, fascinating details of their lives. There's a short introduction to each story, and a glossary of some less common terms such as 'absconding' and 'insolence'.

Note that the material in this book may disturb some readers.

View Notorious Prisoners in the iBooks Store.

Postmortem Studies by Alfred Bock, circa 1865

Sixteen drawings by Alfred Bock (1835–1920) of people – including small children – shortly after they passed away.

View Postmortem Studies in the iBooks Store.

2 portraits

Related information

Ned Kelly death mask
Ned Kelly death mask
Ned Kelly death mask
Ned Kelly death mask

Sideshow Alley

Infamy, the macabre & the portrait

Previous exhibition, 2015

Death masks, post-mortem drawings and other spooky and disquieting portraits... Come and see how portraits of infamous Australians were used in the 19th century.

The National Portrait Gallery building front entrance
The National Portrait Gallery building front entrance
The National Portrait Gallery building front entrance
The National Portrait Gallery building front entrance

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Canberra, ACT 2600, Australia

Phone +61 2 6102 7000
Fax +61 2 6102 7001
ABN: 54 74 277 1196

The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.

The National Portrait Gallery is an Australian Government Agency