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Knaffl Madonna

Identifier: SPC 2012.002

Scope and Contents

Copy prints (made in McClung Collection darkroom, January 2012) from original 1899 glass plate negative of Knaffl Madonna (Madonna & Child). 9 prints with various exposures. 8 x 10”, B&W.


  • 1889
  • Other: 2012

Conditions Governing Access

Material is available for research. Prior arrangement MUST be made by contacting the Calvin M. McClung Historical Collection at

Biographical / Historical

Joseph Knaffl (1859-1938) was born in Wartburg, Tennessee, the son of Dr. Rudolph and Rosalie Knaffl. Dr. Knaffl was born in Austria and graduated in medicine at the University of Vienna in 1835. He came to Wartburg in 1855 and later moved to Nashville and was a surgeon in the 10th Tennessee Infantry, Union Army, during the Civil War. In 1873 he moved to Knoxville where he continued his medical practice. Joseph Knaffl became interested in art photography while working in the T.M. Schleier Studio in Knoxville. In 1884 Joseph and his brother Charles opened Knaffl and Brother at 522 Gay Street. In 1886 Joseph Knaffl married Lulu May Atkin (1869-1943). In 1910 the business moved to the southwest corner of Church Avenue and Gay Street. Joseph Knaffl had many successful photographs that were well known and in demand. “The Prophets,” representing Elijah and Elisha was awarded the Gold Medal at the St. Louis World’s Fair in 1904. His crowning glory, however, was his “Madonna and Child.” He died at the age of 78 and is buried in Old Gray Cemetery. --written by David Babelay


9 pieces

Language of Materials

No linguistic content; Not applicable

Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the Calvin M. McClung Historical Collection Repository

601 S Gay Street
3rd floor
Knoxville Tennessee 37902 United States