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William E. Irwin Photographs of Great Plains Indians
photCL 161  
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Collection Overview
 
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Description
A disbound album of primarily portrait photographs of Plains Indians, taken by photographer William E. Irwin from the 1890s to early 1900s, in Indian Territory. His images document the Chiricahua Apache, Comanche, and Kiowa Indians who lived near Anadarko and Fort Sill, Oklahoma; some photographs may have been taken at Irwin’s studio at Chickasha, Indian Territory. Besides the studio and field portraits, there are also candid views illustrating late 19th-century Plains Indians in their daily lives; several views of cowboys and cow herding; Fort Sill; tepees; landscapes; and one view of a Wichita Indian grass house or wickiup. Notable portraits include those of Geronimo, seated, posing with headdress and revolver; Appeahtone (Kiowa Chief) and his wife; and Quanah Parker (Comanche Chief) with two of his wives.
Background
William E. Irwin was born in 1871 in Red Oak, Missouri. He learned photography around 1893 in either Indian Territory or Texas, and went on to operate galleries in Chickasha, Oklahoma and Silver City, New Mexico. In 1904, along with his brothers John and Marvin, Irwin opened and operated a photography studio in Bisbee, Arizona. In 1913, he renovated the McPhearson Building as a studio, and worked there until 1922. Irwin’s last photography studio was located in Douglas, Arizona, which he managed until his death in 1935.
Extent
50 photographs in 1 box; prints 14 x 10 cm. (5.5 x 4 in.). See itemized list under “Additional collection guides.”
Restrictions
All requests for permission to publish photographs must be submitted in writing to the Curator of Photographs. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Huntington as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained.
Availability
Access is granted to qualified researchers and by appointment. Please contact the Curator of Photographs at the Huntington Library.