- Collection ID:
Rinehart, F. A. (Frank A.)
Goff, O. S. (Orlando Scott), 1843-1917
- Physical Description:
This collection includes glass plate negatives, copy negatives and photographic prints taken and collected by Joseph Imhof, a lithographer and painter known for documenting Pueblo culture in New Mexico. These include images shot by Imhof in Acoma, Isleta, Santa Clara (K'apovi) and Taos Pueblos; glass plate negatives (copies) of Frank Rinehart portraits; original glass plate negatives made by Orlando Scott Goff among the Apsáalooke (Crow/Absaroke) in Montana circa 1894; photographic prints of Imhof artworks; and photographs of Joseph and Sarah Imhof and their home in Taos, New Mexico.
Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
Series 1: Glass plate negatives contains 89 glass plate negatives donated by Joseph Imhof to the Museum of the American Indian, Heye Foundation in 1930. This includes—copies of Frank Rinehart portraits; Joseph Imhof photographs made in Acoma Pueblo and Isleta Pueblo in 1912; Orlando Scott Goff Apsáalooke (Crow/Absaroke) photographs from Montana; and Kwakwaka'wakw (Kwakiutl) photographs from Vancouver Island, British Columbia (photographer unknown). The majority of the Rinehart glass plate negatives include two portraits side by side on one 8x10 plate, though copy negatives were made of the individual portraits. The copy negatives were created by the Museum of the American Indian, Heye Foundation (NMAI's predecessor museum) during a photo conservation project in the 1960s.
Series 2: Photographic Prints includes 89 cataloged and 38 uncatalogued photographic prints from 1900-1964. This includes Joseph Imhof photographs made in K'apovi (Santa Clara) Pueblo; images of Imhof's drawings, sketches and paintings; photographs in Taos of the Imhof home and studio; and portraits of Sarah and Joseph Imhof.
The negatives have catalog numbers N19283-N19371. The prints have catalog numbers P19480-P19484, P19532-P19591.
Arranged in two series by photographic type. Series 1: Glass plate Negatives, circa 1894, 1898, 1912, undated and Series 2: Photographic Prints, 1900-1964. Within the series they are arranged by catalog number with the uncatalogued prints at the end of Series 2.
Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
Joseph Adam Imhof was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1871. After teaching himself lithography, Imhof was hired by Currier and Ives and eventually earned enough money from this job to buy a bookstore. In 1891 he eventually quit his job and sold the bookstore to pursue a formal art education in Europe which led to four years in Paris, Brussels, Antwerp and Munich where he apprenticed with several artists.
During this time, Imhof met Buffalo Bill Cody and was invited to join him in Antwerp to sketch and paint members of his "Wild West Show". Returning to New York, Imhof rented a studio and began to study the Iroquois Indians in New York and Canada. He spent the next ten years painting and improving his lithography, photography and color printing innovations - which financed his early painting career. He also freelanced for Allen and Ginter, painting his Indian Head Series for insertion on cards in boxes of cigarettes.
In 1897 Joseph married Sarah "Sallie" Ann Elizabeth Russell. In 1905 they visited the Southwest for the first time to record the ceremonies of the Pueblo Indians. Joseph built a studio in Albuquerque in 1906, and the Imhofs spent the next few years traveling around the region, though they eventually returned to New York. In 1929, Joseph and Sarah moved to New Mexico permanently and built their new home and studio in Taos Pueblo. There, he would have Native Puebloan models to live in his home for a time before he painted them. He also collected many artifacts and had the first lithography press in Taos. His series of paintings called Kivas and Corn, which he gifted to the University of New Mexico, was his last and most famous work. The Koshare Indian Museum also houses one of the largest collections of his paintings. Joseph Imhof died in 1955 leaving the remainder of his collection in the care of his wife and daughter.
Bibliography: The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Artists of the American West, by Peggy and Harold Samuels; Joseph Imhof: Artist of the Pueblos, by Nancy Hopkins Reily and Lucille Enix, Koshare Indian Museum.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
The glass plate negatives were a Gift of Joseph Imhof in 1930. It is still unclear how/when the photographic prints were acquired by the museum, but they were likely donated by Sarah Imhof along with a collection of Imhof artwork in the 1960s.
Processed by Rachel Menyuk, Processing Archivist, 2020.
The uncataloged photographic prints in Series 2 were originally housed with documents in Box 255, Folder 7
in the Museum of the American Indian, Heye Foundation records (NMAI.AC.001). They have been moved to be with the rest of the Joseph Imhof photographic collection.
Using the Collection
Conditions Governing Access
Access to NMAI Archives Center collections is by appointment only, Monday - Friday, 9:30 am - 4:30 pm. Please contact the archives to make an appointment (phone: 301-238-1400, email: firstname.lastname@example.org).
Identification of specific item; Date (if known); Joseph A. Imhof photograph collection, image #, NMAI.AC.142; National Museum of the American Indian Archives Center, Smithsonian Institution.
Conditions Governing Use
and NMAI Archive Center's Digital Image request
A large collection of Joseph Imhof artwork and photographs can be found at the Maxwell Museum of Anthropology at the University of New Mexico.
The NMAI has a collection of Joseph Imhof artwork and lithographs donated by his wife Sarah in the 1960s.
For a bibliography on Joseph Imhof written by his wife, Sarah Imhof, see Box 255, Folder 7
in the Museum of the American Indian, Heye Foundation records (NMAI.AC.001).
National Museum of the American Indian
4220 Silver Hill Rd