Joseph W. Keppler, Jr. collection of negatives and photographs

Summary
Collection ID:
NMAI.AC.001.016
Creators:
Keppler, Udo J., 1872-1956
Museum of the American Indian, Heye Foundation
Fly, C. S. (Camillus Sidney), 1849-1901
Dates:
1870-1947
Languages:
English
Physical Description:
79 Photographic prints
black and white
129 negatives (photographic)
black and white
Repository:
Images depict the Seneca Iroquois Indians on the Cattaraugus Reservation in New York.

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
The Keppler collection consists primarily of informal portraits of Seneca men and women made in 1900, 1904, 1905, 1908 and 1910. Keppler made most of these photographs on the Cattaraugus Reservation (including a photograph of Edward Cornplanter's Indian and Minstrel show) but also on the Tonawanda, Onondaga, and Allegany Reservations. Aside from the portraits, the photographs depict Seneca dwellings and ceremonials. Also by Keppler is a group of photographs depicting Seneca and Cayuga athletes playing lacrosse and standing for a group portrait. These he made in 1902 at the Crescent Athletic Club in New York City. In New York State, he also photographed Oneida, Onondaga, and Tuscarora individuals. The collection includes several potraits of Keppler and approximately 15 photographs dated ca. 1937 of the interior of Keppler's home. The latter showcase Keppler's American Indian object collection. He also made portraits of Native sitters in his home. There are several photographs in the collection that Keppler did not make. Among them is an 1886 print by Camillus S. Fly entitled "Council between General Crook and Geronimo," and studio portrait made before 1870 of a group of Kiowa sitters, including Lone Wolf and his wife, and full-length studio portrait of a Shoshone or Bannock man dating ca. 1870. Some of the negatives are later copy negatives.

Arrangement note
Arrangement note
Negatives Arranged by negative number (N18567-N18589, N21231-N21314, N21803-N21806, N23071, N23087, N23089, N23091, N23093, N23095-N23096, N23106-N23114, N34852, N36800-N36801, N37887)
Prints Arranged by print number (P00277, P01535-P01536, P01622, P01625, P01652, P01737-P01738, P02640, P10029, P12499-P12518, P13246-P13247, P13252-P13253, P13256, P13258, P13756, P16081, P16084, P16111, P16112, P16114, P25274-P25295, P37581)

Biographical/Historical note
Biographical/Historical note
Udo J. Keppler, who changed his name to Joseph W. Keppler, Jr. in honor of his father, was a political cartoonist for Puck Magazine and an avid collector of Indian artifacts, as well as being an Indian activist. This interest led him to an association with George G. Heye, director of the Museum of the American Indian. Keppler often acted as an intermediary between other collectors and Native artisans, facilitating the expansion of the Iroquois collection of the Museum of the American Indian and others. He was elected honorary chief of the Seneca in 1899 and given the name Gy-ant-wa-ka.

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
Born Udo J. Keppler, Joseph W. Keppler (1872-1956), or "Kep," was the son of Joseph Keppler, the great political cartoonist and founder and publisher of the popular and highly influential magazine, Puck. The younger Keppler was born in St. Louis, Missouri and educated in Munich, Germany and New York City. Like his father, he too was a political cartoonist. He became the art director at Puck and, when his father died in 1894, took over as publisher. Joseph W. Keppler ran the magazine until he sold it in 1914. The younger Keppler's two great interests in life were said to be Puck and American Indians. Evidently, Keppler's deep interest in Indians and Indian affairs developed out of his desire to collect Indian objects and his friendship with Mrs. Harriet Maxwell Converse, an early advocate for Native rights. Through Converse, Keppler built friendships with Iroquois living on reservations in New York State and Canada, but especially with Senecas living on the Cattaraugus and Tonawanda reservations in New York. At Converse's funeral in 1903, the 31-year-old Keppler was adopted by the Seneca Nation and made a member of the Wolf Clan. Like Converse, Keppler served as an advocate for Senecas. Most importantly, he worked to help defeat or modify plans to allot Iroquois reservations in New York State. Keppler became a major collector of American Indian objects and his passion to collect led to an association with George G. Heye. In 1901, Heye apparently accompanied Keppler to the Seneca and Cattaraugus Reservations; this trip might have been Heye's first to a Native community. From 1927 to 1942, Keppler served on the Museum of the American Indian, Heye Foundation board of trustrees and for a time was also the Museum's vice president. In 1944, Keppler and his (second) wife Vera left New York and moved to California. Keppler died in La Jolla, California, at the age of 84.

Administration
Processing Information note
NMAIA Review
Author

Using the Collection
Conditions Governing Access note
Access is by appointment only, Monday - Friday, 9:30 am - 4:30 pm. Please contact the archives to make an appointment.
Preferred Citation note
Joseph W. Keppler, Jr. collction of negatives and photographs, National Museum of the American Indian Archives, Smithsonian Institution (negative, slide or catalog number).
Conditions Governing Use note
Restricted: Cultural Sensitivity

Custodial History
Custodial History
Historically, the Museum of the American Indian, Heye Foundation managed all photographic and related manuscript collections separately. This collection description represents current management practices of organizing and contextualizing related archival materials.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Photographic prints Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Cattaraugus Indian Reservation (N.Y.) Place Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Black-and-white negatives Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Photographs Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Seneca Culture Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Cayuga Culture Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Oneida Culture Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Onondaga Culture Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Tuscarora Culture Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Kiowa Culture Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Chiricahua Apache Culture Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
National Museum of the American Indian
4220 Silver Hill Rd
Suitland 20746-2863
nmaiarchives@si.edu
http://nmai.si.edu/explore/collections/archive/