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William E. Irwin Photographs of Great Plains Indians: Finding Aid
photCL 161  
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Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Overview of the Collection
  • Access
  • Administrative Information
  • Biographical and Historical Note
  • Scope and Content
  • Indexing Terms

  • Overview of the Collection

    Title: William E. Irwin Photographs of Great Plains Indians
    Dates (inclusive): approximately 1890-1910
    Collection Number: photCL 161
    Creator: Irwin, William E., 1871-1935
    Extent: 50 photographs in 1 box; prints 14 x 10 cm. (5.5 x 4 in.)
    Repository: The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens. Photo Archives
    1151 Oxford Road
    San Marino, California 91108
    Phone: (626) 405-2191
    Email: reference@huntington.org
    URL: http://www.huntington.org
    Abstract: 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.
    Language: English.

    Access

    Open to qualified researchers by prior application through the Reader Services Department. For more information, contact Reader Services.

    Administrative Information

    Publication Rights

    The Huntington Library does not require that researchers request permission to quote from or publish images of this material, nor does it charge fees for such activities. The responsibility for identifying the copyright holder, if there is one, and obtaining necessary permissions rests with the researcher.

    Preferred Citation

    William E. Irwin Photographs of Great Plains Indians. The Huntington Library, San Marino, California.

    Provenance

    Purchased from Cherokee Bookstore, January 24, 1967.

    Biographical and Historical Note

    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.

    Scope and Content

    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. 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.
    Many of the photographs focus on Comanche and Kiowa Indians posing for studio portraits. These portraits depict infants and children, young women, mothers, scouts, and warriors, many identified by name. Named individuals include Poor Buffalo, White Buffalo, Lone Wolf, and Little White Shield, among others. Field photographs show Apache, Kiowa, and Comanche encampments; a Wichita grass house; both cowboys and Indians caring for their herds; and views in and around Anadarko and Fort Sill, Oklahoma.
    Item titles in the contents list are transcribed from handwritten captions below photographs; cataloger-supplied information is in brackets.

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the Huntington Library's Online Catalog.  
    Apache Indians -- Photographs. -- Photographs.
    Chickasaw Indians -- Photographs.
    Comanche Indians -- Photographs.
    Cowboys -- Photographs.
    Indian encampments—Oklahoma -- Photographs.
    Indians of North America—Dwellings—Great Plains -- Photographs.
    Indians of North America—Great Plains -- Photographs.
    Indians of North America Indian Territory -- Photographs.
    Kiowa Indians -- Photographs.
    Medicine-man -- Photographs.
    Tipis -- Photographs.
    Wichita Indians—Dwellings -- Photographs.
    Wikiups -- Photographs.
    Geronimo, 1829-1909 -- Photographs.
    Parker, Quanah, 1845?-1911 -- Photographs.
    Anadarko (Okla.) -- Photographs.
    Fort Sill (Okla.) -- Photographs.
    Photographs.
    Photograph album.
    Studio portraits.