New York , NY
Eugenics, Criminal Composite
Photograph - Photograph
British anthropologist Sir Francis Galton (1822-1911), fearing the demise of both the upper classes and of the "highly evolved" white race, was interested in "improving" human evolution by applying the theories of his cousin Charles Darwin's 'The Origin of the Species' to human reproduction. Founding the study of "eugenics," he believed that it was important to discourage reproduction in people who had genetic defects or perceived undesirable traits (negative eugenics) and encourage reproduction in people who had (what he viewed as) inheritable and desirable traits (positive eugenics). He proposed that composite photography could be a useful tool in visualizing types or ideals such as the tubercular, the prize-winning racehorse, the Jew, and the criminal. Pictured here is one of his criminal composites.
March 6th, 2013
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