Joseph Krementz Photograph Collection, ca. 1870s-1963

Held by The Filson Historical Society

Creator:  Krementz, Joseph, 1840-1928

Title:  Joseph Krementz Photograph Collection, ca. 1870s-1963

Rights: For information regarding literary and copyright interest for these photographs, contact the Collections Department.

Size of Collection:  2 medium boxes

Location Number:  021PC4

Scope and Content Note

The collection includes photographs taken by Krementz, mainly of landscapes, grazing cattle, and family photographs, including a photograph of Krementz. There are prints of lantern slides created by Krementz – the originals are housed at the archives of the University of Louisville. The collection also includes studies taken by other photographers Krementz had in his possession, as well as Catholic and German ephemera. Materials are both in English and German. Also included in the collection is a business card for the J. Krementz studio in the Courier Journal Building in Louisville, Ky. Photographs appear in a variety of forms, including cabinet cards, mounted photographs, a tintype, and a milk glass portrait.

Dates of the photographs are approximated to be from the 1870s into the early 1900s, with one photograph from 1963. Most of the photos are undated, except for a few landscape photographs dated to the late 1880s. Most of the photographs in the collection were taken by Krementz, with some photographs from the studio of Edward Klauber. There are also photographs from studios around the United States, Canada, and Europe.

Biographical Note

Joseph Krementz was born in March of 1840 to a family of eight children in Kriftel, Germany, near Frankfurt. Krementz displayed a talent for art from a young age, winning first prize at a school art competition in Wiesbaden, Germany. His parents fostered his natural talent, allowing him to receive instruction from renowned Wiesbaden painter Ludwig Knaus. When the Krementz family emigrated from Germany to the New Albany, Indiana area in 1851, Joseph was able to continue his artistic education with German-born painter and photographer Carl Pfetsch.

By the 1870s, Krementz was married to Maria Louisa Keller and making his living through photography. Krementz did a great deal of portrait photography throughout his career, particularly cartes-de-visite. Krementz operated photographic studios both in Louisville, Kentucky and New Albany, Indiana.

In addition to portrait photography, Krementz was a talented landscape painter and belonged to the prestigious Wonderland Way Art Club in his later years. At one point boasting over 300 members, the Club was made up of local artists from the “Wonderland Way”, a name referring to a network of roads along the Ohio River, stretching from Mount Vernon, Illinois to Cincinnati, Ohio. Both Louisville and New Albany were major stops along these roads, which were built after World War I to encourage automobile tourism to the area. Krementz painted several views of these areas, depicting agricultural scenes as well as natural landscapes.

Krementz was a well-recognized local artist, with his works being shown frequently at Wonderland Way galleries beginning in 1914. He also saw his landscape paintings exhibited throughout the eastern United States, with works shown in galleries in New York City, Nashville, and Chicago. Krementz was able to expand his subject material beyond his local area, painting works depicting Western landscapes. Krementz’s contributions to the artistic culture of the Ohio Valley area are many. Not only did he contribute his artistic talents to the Wonderland Way Art Club, but his mentorship to younger members was inspirational to the next generation of local artists. Krementz died in April 1928 at the age of 88 and is buried in St. Mary Cemetery in New Albany.

Box/Series List

Series 1: 021PC4.001-.082, .104, .199 – Landscape photographs

Mounted photos of local landscapes, taken by Krementz or possibly other artists. Krementz most likely used these photographs as studies for his landscape paintings. Notable locations include Silver Creek, Big Eddy, Beachwood, and Green Valley Road, all in New Albany, Indiana. .104 is an underdeveloped photograph; .199 is a painted photograph.

Series 2: 021PC4.083-.103 – Cattle photographs

Mounted photos of cattle grazing in fields and waterways. Krementz most likely used these photographs as studies for his landscape paintings. Locations include Beachwood and Green Valley Road in New Albany, Indiana. Many photos taken in the summer seasons of the late 1880s.

Series 3: 021PC4.104-.117 – Family photographs

Photographs of the Krementz family, including their home in New Albany, the Krementz children, and the family cats. Notable items include .104: Photograph of Joseph Krementz; .106-107: Mary Krementz in front of the Krementz home, 1963.

Series 4: 021PC4.118-.138 Studio photographs

Photographs taken by other artists for Krementz to study or taken by Krementz that were created in a studio. Includes portraiture and natural landscapes, particularly woodlands and waterways.

Series 5: 021PC4.139-.145 – Lantern slide photocopies

Photocopies of lantern slides taken by Krementz, dated to the late 1880s. The slides feature photos of natural scenes, particularly waterways. Some slides include images of bridges and boats on the Ohio River. Notable locations include the K&I Bridge (.139), Silver Creek (.140), Floyd Knobs (.143), and Falling Run Creek (.145).

Series 6: 021PC4.146-0.166 – Photography studies and samples

Photographs from around the world, showing a variety of photographs that Krementz may have used for inspiration. Includes portraiture of women and men as well as a dry plate photograph sample on “Alpha” paper (0.164).

Series 7: 021PC4.167-.197 – Miscellaneous photograph and print ephemera

A series of miscellaneous art ephemera, all paper based. Subjects include Christian art, German lithograph print copies, and photographs of natural scenes in the United States.

Series 8: 021PC4.198 – Krementz Studio Card

A framed business card for Joseph Krementz, at his photography studio located in the Courier Journal building in Louisville, Kentucky. The business card features leaves and acorns for decoration, representative of Krementz’s interest in woodland aesthetics.


Subject Headings

Art, German—19th century.

Artists–United States.
Black-and-white photography.

Bridges—Ohio River.


Cartes-de-visite photographs.

Lantern slides.

Louisville (Ky.)

Nature photography.

New Albany (Ind.)

Ohio River.


Photographic industry.


Portrait photography.