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Sumner Matteson collection of Hopi and Pueblo photographs

Identifier: PICT-2021-001

Content Description

The collection consists of a portfolio box with 59 black-and-white photographs pasted front and back on 4 pages, ranging in size from 1-1/2 inch ovals to 6 x 8" prints. Box is 11-1/2 x 15" and is titled, "Cliff Dwellings Pueblo Ruins and Indian Life in the Southwest." Photos depict individual and groups of Hopi and Pueblo Indians, group gatherings, dwellings, landscapes, material culture, events, and dances.


  • early 20th century

Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.

Copy Restrictions

Limited duplication of CSWR material is allowed for research purposes. User is responsible for compliance with all copyright, privacy, and libel laws. Permission is required for publication or distribution. For more information see the Photographs and Images Research Guide and contact the Pictorial Archivist

Biographical Information

Sumner W. Matteson Jr. was born in 1867 in Decorah, Iowa. He received his B.S. degree from the University of Minnesota in 1888. He dabbled in the family banking business for several years, and then became the St. Paul agent for the Overman Wheel Company, makers of Victor bicycle. The following year, he moved to Colorado to manage the Overman operation in Denver, where they also carried Kodak cameras and supplies. The Overman company left Denver in 1899. Matteson had been taking his camera along on bicycle trips, and considered himself an amateur photographer. He took this opportunity to begin a career as a "travelling correspondent," crisscrossing North America photo-documenting the Ameican West, including the Ute Indians, Mesa Verde, Pueblo Indians Ft. Belknap Reservation, and Flathead Indians. He also photographed in Cuba and Mexico. He settled in Milwaukee in 1909, working as a bookkeeper, but still photographing. Matteson returned to Mexico in 1920. After climbing Mt. Popocatepetl, he developed a pulmonary edema and died the following day.

Source: Sumner Matteson Collection, Milwaukee Public Museum.


59 Photographic Prints (Prints are mounted on 4 pages and enclosed in 1 portfolio box) : Black-and-white prints (silver gelatin) ; various: 1-1/2" ovals to 6 x 8" prints

Language of Materials



The collection consists of portfolio pages with photographs depicting individuals and groups of Hopi and Pueblo Indians, gatherings, dwellings, landscapes, material culture, dances, and events.

Physical Location

B2. Shelved by Pictorial Number.
Finding Aid of the Sumner Matteson collection of Hopi and Pueblo photographs
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the UNM Center for Southwest Research & Special Collections Repository

University of New Mexico Center for Southwest Research & Special Collections
University Libraries, MSC05 3020
1 University of New Mexico
Albuquerque NM 87131