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Introduction

Scope & Content Note

Subject Terms

Processing Information

Copyright

Restrictions on Access

Preferred Citation

Container List

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Guide to the William E. Irwin Photographic Portfolio & Photographs

Kiowa [Women] [Amie and Carrie, Kiowa women with cradleboards], ca. 1899.  2004.110.2.38 William E. Irwin Photographic Portfolio & Photographs , circa 1899-2003
Photographic portfolio & 15 photographic prints
0.5 cubic feet (1 flat box)
Location: 0315
Collection #: 065
Accession #: 2004.110

Introduction
Portfolio of 50 American Indian photographs by William E. Irwin, a photographer active in Chickasha, Indian Territory in the 1890s and early-1900s, whose images document the Chiricahua Apache, Comanche, and Kiowa who lived near Anadarko, Indian Territory and Fort Sill. The collection consists primarily of portrait photographs, but images that document aspects of late 19th century American Indian life and material culture are also included. Notable persons pictured in the collection include Geronimo and Quanah Parker. A small number of contemporary photographs of Irwin cabinet cards that correspond to images in the portfolio are also included.

Biography
William E. Irwin was born in Red Oak, Missouri, in 1871. It is believed he learned photography in Indian Territory or Texas in the early 1890s. Irwin operated photography studios first in Chickasha, Indian Territory, and later in Silver City and Bisbee, Arizona, where he operated a studio from 1904 to 1922. In 1922 he opened a studio in Douglas, Arizona, which he operated until his death in 1935. He was a partner with a man named Mankins during part of his time in Chickasha and at various points while in Bisbee and Douglas he worked with his brothers John and Marvin.

Source: Mautz, Carl. Biographies of Western Photographers. Nevada City, Calif.: Carl Mautz Publishing, 1997.

Scope & Content Note  

The collection consists of a single series, Photographs.

Photographs Series (ca. 1899-ca. 2003)
This series is comprised of two parts, a circa 1899 screw post-bound photography album with 50 silver gelatin prints affixed to album pages that include Irwin’s hand-written captions and 15 contemporary images of Irwin cabinet card photographs that correspond to photographs in the album. The album has been left in its original order and accession numbers have been assigned based on that order. The contemporary photographs are designated by the addition of a letter to the accession number of the corresponding original image and are housed sequentially by accession number in a single folder. In addition to this finding aid, more detailed information about each photograph is available in the Research Center database. The overall condition of the photographs is very good and the album is good. The prints have some abrasions, indentations, and small areas with chipped emulsion. The album cover has areas of abrasion, especially at the corners and edges, and the pages have some soil, discoloration, and stray marks.

The primary focus of the collection is the American Indian tribes that lived in the areas around Anadarko, Indian Territory and Fort Sill, primarily the Chiricahua Apache, Comanche, and Kiowa, with a few Wichita images. Irwin labels some images with the generic term "Indian," but it is probable that most of the pictured individuals are from one of the tribal groups noted above. In the container list, the first title given is Irwin’s original caption; in some cases an additional description in square brackets has been added to clarify the content. Where Irwin uses the words "squaw" and "papoose," the words "woman" and "infant" have been substituted.

The bulk of the photographs are single and group portraits taken both outdoors and in the studio, but the collection also includes images of American Indian lifeways and material culture at the end of the 19th century. Among the named individuals pictured are Geronimo, Quanah Parker, Atote, Arko, Red Bird, White Wolf, Needle Parker, Lena Fisher, Lone Wolf, Poor Buffalo, and Appeahtone. The portraits include single individuals, couples, and larger groups with men, women, and children. Lifeways pictured include the disassembly of a tipi, butchering cattle, gaming, camp and village life, watering ponies, gathering wood, and drawing Indian Agency rations. Material culture items shown include excellent examples of elk tooth decorated dresses, headdresses, otter fur hair wraps, and other items of traditional dress; Kiowa cradleboards; cradleboard toys with doll babies; tipis; and Wichita grass homes. Other images include Fort Sill in 1899, American bison, grazing cattle, and a West Texas deer hunting camp.

Subject Terms  

Personal Names:
Appeahtone
Arko
Atote
Fisher, Lena
Geronimo, 1829-1909
Irwin, William E., 1871-1935
Lone Wolf
Parker, Needle
Parker, Quanah, 1845?-1911
Poor Buffalo
Red Bird
White Wolf

Subject Headings:
Apache Indians-Oklahoma
Chiricahua Indians-Oklahoma
Comanche Indians-Oklahoma
Cradleboards
Fort Sill (Okla.)
Group portraits
Hairstyles
Headgear
Indians of North America-Clothing
Indians of North America-Dwellings
Indians of North America-Gambling
Indians of North America-Oklahoma
Kiowa Indians-Oklahoma
Photographers-Oklahoma
Portrait photographs
Slaughtering and slaughter-houses
Tipis
Wichita Indians-Oklahoma

Processing Information  

The collection was purchased with funds provided by Martin C. Dickinson in May 2004 and processed by Jonathan Nelson in June 2004.

Ownership & Literary Rights  

The William E. Irwin Photographic Portfolio & Photographs is the property of the Donald C. & Elizabeth M. Dickinson Research Center, National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum. Literary right, including copyright, belongs to the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, with the exception of copyrighted artwork images and published literary works, which are the property of the respective copyright holders. It is the responsibility of the researcher, and his/her publisher, to obtain publishing permission from individuals pictured, relevant copyright holders, and the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum.

Restrictions on Access  

The collection is open for research. It is advisable for researchers to discuss their proposed research with staff prior to visiting the Center.

Preferred Citation  

William E. Irwin Photographic Portfolio & Photographs, Box ##, Folder ##, Dickinson Research Center, National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

Container List  

Series 1: Photographs, ca. 1899-ca. 2003
Accession #. Title/Description
2004.110.2.01 Atote, Kiowa Brave [Atote, Kiowa man with war bonnet], ca. 1899 [1]
2004.110.2.02 Comanche [Woman] [Outdoor portrait of young comanche woman], ca. 1899 [1]
2004.110.2.03 Geronimo, Chief of the Mountain Apaches, ca. 1899 [1]
2004.110.2.04 Quanah Parker, Comanche Chief, ca. 1899 [1]
2004.110.2.04A Quanah Parker, Comanche Chief, ca. 2003 [1]
2004.110.2.05 Breaking Camps [Two Indian women taking down a tipi], ca. 1899 [1]
2004.110.2.06 Apache Sports [Two Apache men on horseback], ca. 1899 [1]
2004.110.2.07 Ft. Sill, Ind. Ter., Dec. 1899, ca. 1899 [1]
2004.110.2.08 Comanche Indians Butchering a Beef, ca. 1899 [1]
2004.110.2.08A-B Comanche Indians Butchering a Beef, ca. 2003 [2]
2004.110.2.09 Arko & Wife, Comanches, ca. 1899 [1]
2004.110.2.10 Comanche Lena [Portrait of Lena Fisher], ca. 1899 [1]
2004.110.2.10A Comanche Lena [Portrait of Lena Fisher], ca. 2003 [1]
2004.110.2.11 Kiowa [Woman] [Outdoor portrait of Lone Wolf's mother], ca. 1899 [1]
2004.110.2.11A Kiowa [Woman] [Outdoor portrait of Lone Wolf's mother], ca. 2003 [1]
2004.110.2.12 Red Bird, Comanche, ca. 1899 [1]
2004.110.2.13 Little Kiowa Girls (Dresses Val. $150.00 each), ca. 1899 [1]
2004.110.2.14 Comanche [Woman] & [Infant] [Comanche mother and baby], ca. 1899 [1]
2004.110.2.15 Comanche Warrior [White Wolf, a Comanche man], ca. 1899 [1]
2004.110.2.16 Little Kiowa Girl [Kiowa girl holding toy cradleboard and doll], ca. 1899 [1]
2004.110.2.17 Kiowa Indian Wariors [sic] [Two Kiowa men on horseback with war bonnets], ca. 1899 [1]
2004.110.2.18 Needle Parker, Comanche, ca. 1899 [1]
2004.110.2.19 Indians Butchering a Beef Near Anadarko, ca. 1899 [1]
2004.110.2.19A Indians Butchering a Beef Near Anadarko, ca. 2003 [1]
2004.110.2.20 Comanche Camp Near Ft. Sill, ca. 1899 [1]
2004.110.2.21 Indian Scouts of Anadarko Comanche, ca. 1899 [1]
2004.110.2.21A Indian Scouts of Anadarko Comanche, ca. 2003 [1]
2004.110.2.22 Wichita Indians Playing Monte, ca. 1899 [1]
2004.110.2.23 Lone Wolf Dancing the War Dance, ca. 1899 [1]
2004.110.2.23A Lone Wolf Dancing the War Dance, ca. 2003 [1]
2004.110.2.24 Comanche Girls [Two Comanche girls in front of tipis and wagons], ca. 1899 [1]
2004.110.2.25 Comanche Indians Playing Monte, ca. 1899 [1]
2004.110.2.26 Apache Indian Camp Near Anadarko, Ind. Ter., ca. 1899 [1]
2004.110.2.27 American Buffalo, ca. 1899 [1]
2004.110.2.28 Indians Watering Ponies in the Washita Riv., ca. 1899 [1]
2004.110.2.28A Indians Watering Ponies in the Washita Riv., ca. 2003 [1]
2004.110.2.29 Scene at the Comissary [sic] Drawing Rations, Kiowa Indians, ca. 1899 [1]
2004.110.2.29A Scene at the Comissary [sic] Drawing Rations, Kiowa Indians, ca. 2003 [1]
2004.110.2.30 Kiowa Indian Girls in Parade, July 4th 1899, Near Chickasha, I. T., ca. 1899 [1]
2004.110.2.31 Deer Hunting in West Texas, Dec. 1899, ca. 1899 [1]
2004.110.2.32 Kiowa Indian Camp Near Anadarko, I. T., ca. 1899 [1]
2004.110.2.33 Wichita Indian Grass House Near Anadarko, I. T., ca. 1899 [1]
2004.110.2.33A Wichita Indian Grass House Near Anadarko, I. T., ca. 2003 [1]
2004.110.2.34 Cattle Grazing Near Ft. Sill, Ind. Ter., ca. 1899 [1]
2004.110.2.34A Cattle Grazing Near Ft. Sill, Ind. Ter., ca. 2003 [1]
2004.110.2.35 Kiowa Indian Camp Near Anadarko, ca. 1899 [1]
2004.110.2.36 Indian Village Near Ft. Sill, ca. 1899 [1]
2004.110.2.37 Appeahtone, Kiowa Chief [Ah-pe-ah-tone, Chief of the Kiowas and wife], ca. 1899 [1]
2004.110.2.38 Kiowa [Women] [Amie and Carrie, Kiowa women with cradleboards], ca. 1899 [1]
2004.110.2.39 Kiowa [Woman] & [Infant] [Kiowa mother with baby in cradleboard], ca. 1899 [1]
2004.110.2.40 Apache [Woman] Preparing for Winter [Apache women gathering wood by tipi], ca. 1899 [1]
2004.110.2.41 Bride and Groom (Kiowas) [Portrait of Kiowa man and woman on wedding day], ca. 1899 [1]
2004.110.2.42 [Infant] Cradles [Two cradleboards, one with baby], ca. 1899 [1]
2004.110.2.43 Cora & Millie, Kiowa Belles, Elk Tooth Dress Val. $200.00 [Portrait of two young Kiowa women], ca. 1899 [1]
2004.110.2.44 Kiowa Annie, Dress Val. $200.00 [Portrait of young Kiowa woman with elk tooth decorated dress], ca. 1899 [1]
2004.110.2.44A Kiowa Annie, Dress Val. $200.00 [Portrait of young Kiowa woman with elk tooth decorated dress], ca. 2003 [1]
2004.110.2.45 Kiowa Girls [Portrait of three young Kiowa women from Anadarko], ca. 1899 [1]
2004.110.2.45A Kiowa Girls [Portrait of three young Kiowa women from Anadarko], ca. 2003 [1]
2004.110.2.46 Poor Buffalo, Kiowa [Portrait of Poor Buffalo with war bonnet], ca. 1899 [1]
2004.110.2.47 Kiowa [Infant] [Kiowa baby in cradleboard], ca. 1899 [1]
2004.110.2.48 Kiowa Braves [Portrait of two young Kiowa men in traditional dress], ca. 1899 [1]
2004.110.2.49 Kiowa Indian Children [Six Kiowa children in encampment], ca. 1899 [1]
2004.110.2.49A Kiowa Indian Children [Six Kiowa children in encampment], ca. 2003 [1]
2004.110.2.50 Kiowa [Woman] & [Infant] [Portrait of Kiowa mother with baby in cradleboard], ca. 1899 [1]
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