THE former Water Conservation and Irrigation Commission's first event since being sold for just $1 is set to be an intriguing one.
As part of the Australian Art Deco Festival Leeton the building will host a new exhibition of police mugshots from the 1920s known as the "Specials" on July 12.
UNDERWORLD: Mugshots from the Roaring Twenties, reveals Sydney's criminal hierarchy in the aftermath of World War I in these photographs.
Sydney Living Museums curator Nerida Campbell said the decade was characterized by social upheaval and fast times bred new crimes.
"Criminals moved into new markets, including the illicit sale of alcohol and cocaine and the police had to employ every tool and technology available to keep up," she said.
The collection is mostly made up of glass-plate negatives that have been digitally scanned.
Taken between 1920 and 1930, the compelling images of criminal bosses, plotters, bruisers, petty crims, wayward youth and fallen soldiers were never intended to be seen by the public.
Suspects smile, scowl and simper for the camera in poses of their own choosing unlike the deadpan stares found in conventional mugshots from around the world.
More than 130 images will feature at the exhibition, making it the perfect event for the festival, fitting right into the era being featured through various other events in Leeton from July 12 to 14.
Leeton Shire Council's marketing and cultural services co-ordinator Suesann Vos was thrilled to have the event on board.
"This is the first time (the exhibition is) coming to regional remote Australia and it will launch the Australian Art Deco Festival Leeton on July 12," she said.
Mrs Vos said the community was getting right behind the winter festival.
"Absolutely we have 27 volunteer co-ordinators and a lot of groups excited about the event," she said.
The organising committee is currently busy planning each event that will be part of the festival and is also seeking sponsorship. Tickets for many of the exciting events will go on sale soon. For more information about the event visit https://leetonartdecofestival.com.au/.
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