Edward J. Kemper, Viticulturalist and Photographer

It is impossible to talk about photography in Gasconade County without speaking of Edward J. Kemper.

Kemper, an orchardist and viticulturalist, was also a gifted amateur photographer. Thanks to his daughter, Anna Kemper Hesse, Kemper’s work has been permanently preserved and made known to a wider audience.

Kemper took photos of his family, friends, neighbors, and of the town of Hermann and environs, between 1895 and 1920. Over 100 of his photos, printed from the original glass plates, appear in Little Germany on the Missouri: The Photographs of Edward J. Kemper, 1895-1920, published by the University of Missouri Press in 1998.

Noted contemporary Missouri photographer Oliver A. Shuchard, who made the prints for the book, wrote that Kemper’s “photographs draw on his roots in Hermann and therefore embody the inner character of the town in ways an outside observer cannot achieve. Therein lies their uniqueness, beauty, and evocative power” (Little Germany, 36). The original glass plate negatives were donated to Western Historical Manuscript Collection at the University of Missouri-Columbia by Anna Kemper Hesse.

Published in: on March 14, 2010 at 9:04 pm  Leave a Comment  
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