MULTIPLE COPIES and DUPLICATES
FALSIFICATION of PHOTOGRAPHER ATTRIBUTION
The Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery copy
TMAG Ref: Q15603
TITLE: ‘[Convict] “125” “99 / James Harrison per Rodney 1 / Taken at Port Arthur 1874”.
PHOTOGRAPHER: Thomas J NEVIN
Exhibited in the 1970s at the AGNSW and QVMAG as the work of professional photographer Thomas J. Nevin, the TMAG deliberately falsified a photographer attribution of fifty or more of these 1870s mugshots to pander to descendants of the Port Arthur prison Commandant, non-photographer A. H. Boyd when Elspeth Wishart removed them from the QVMAG in 1983 to include them in an exhibition at the Port Arthur penal heritage site. At the close of the exhibition, they were deposited at the TMAG instead when they should have been returned to their original holdings in the QVMAG, thereby causing a lie to be perpetuated about A. H. Boyd as well as the loss of several of these rare photographs through dispersal to other state and national public institutions.
The National Library of Australia copy
The NLA catalogue caption was devised from the verso inscription:
“James Harrison, per Rodney, taken at Port Arthur, 1874.”
The Archives Office Tasmania copy
A hard copy and a paper copy are held at the Archives Office of Tasmania:
Webshot: A soft paper copy of the QVMAG mugshot of James Harrison held at the Archives Office of Tasmania Ref: PH30/1/3261
Caption: “James Harrison, convict transported per Rodney 1. Photograph taken a Port Arthur by Thomas Nevin”
The Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery copy
Prisoner Harrison, James per Rodney
QVMAG Collection: Ref : 1983_p_0163-0176
This is a black and white reprint from Thomas Nevin’s sepia print (1873) produced at the QVMAG in 1985 by Chris Long along with 39 others for reasons known only to himself, since they serve no purpose. The several hundred mounted cdvs which T. J. Nevin also produced for prison and police records (1874) are held at the National Library of Australia, the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, the Archives Office of Tasmania, and the Mitchell Library, State Library of NSW..
James Harrison: Police Records
James Harrison per Rodney 1 was sentenced to 10 yrs on 5 July 1866 for manslaughter and discharged from the Hobart Gaol on 26 November 1873 (aged 43) where he was photographed by T. J. Nevin on discharge.