Tuesday, 18 November 2008
Thursday, 13 November 2008
A Burns Archive BookThe Burns Archive, known for its 1980s studies of derangement of the mind and body and photographic histories of medicine and death, extend that study to crime with Deadly Intent: Crime & Punishment Photographs from the Burns Archive. The book is divided into four sections: crime scenes, police action, punishment, and executions. It is concentrated between 1890 and 1950, a time when criminals often admitted their crimes and were quickly punished. Until the late 1940s, the period from arrest to execution for a capital offense averaged 33 days. The change in police attitudes and of the punishment prescribed for criminal behavior is documented here in iconic photographs. Unlike many previous works on the subject, this compilation of crime scenes gives readers a forensic view, offering entire series of images used by detectives and criminologists. Other photographs reveal the evolving standards of the American criminal justice system, from water torture at Sing Sing prison, whipping posts, penitentiary life, and the notorious deadly work camps of the South, to executions: hanging, firing squads, and the electric chair. Only when all the evidence is presented can justice and humanity be properly served. This compilation of images, most published here for the first time, is a valuable new resource for historians and researchers. Stanley B. Burns, MD, FACS, a practicing New York City ophthalmic surgeon, is also an internationally distinguished photo-historian, author, lecturer, curator, and collector. Over the last three decades he collected over 800,000 images, including what is perhaps the most comprehensive private collection of crime, forensic, lynching, prison, and execution photography. Dr. Burns has published criminology photographs in collections including Harm’s Way: Lust & Madness, Murder & Mayhem (Twin Palms, 1994) and produced the memorial photography collection Sleeping Beauty (Twelvetrees Press, 1990). In 2006, the Burns Archive released Patients & Promise: A Photographic History of Mental and Mood Disorders, presenting photographs of mentally ill criminals. Dr. Burns has also worked on several episodes of Autopsy, the critically acclaimed HBO forensic documentary series. Sara Cleary-Burns has been involved in the art world for many years. Since 1985 she has chosen to concentrate on photography as art, specializing in early hand-colored images in their original frames, as well as manipulated photographs. In pursuit of these interests she turned her hand to mounting and presenting museum exhibitions, such as the highly successful Forgotten Marriage, which toured throughout the United States. As an archivist, administrator, fundraiser, and publicist, she has been involved with some of the major photographic collections of the United States. J. Burns is the Assistant Director of the Burns Archive and Press. He has coauthored several articles on photographic histor y and edited many of his father Stanley’s works. As a photo-researcher and editor, he has helped to curate and organize several exhibitions and books. He is also a photographic artist exploring a variety of visual arts, performing documentation and creating crafts from digital images and multimedia video.