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Carl Moon Collection of Family Photographs and Ephemera: Finding Aid
photCL 484  
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Overview of the Collection
  • Access
  • Administration Information
  • Scope and Content
  • Arrangement
  • Indexing Terms

  • Overview of the Collection

    Title: Carl Moon Collection of Family Photographs and Ephemera
    Dates (inclusive): approximately 1860s-1930
    Bulk dates: 1900-1920
    Collection Number: photCL 484
    Creator/Collector: Moon, Carl, 1878-1948. Moon, Grace, 1877-1947.
    Extent: 173 photographs and ephemera in 5 boxes.
    Repository: The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens. Photo Archives
    1151 Oxford Road
    San Marino, California 91108
    Phone: (626) 405-2191
    Email: reference@huntington.org
    URL: http://www.huntington.org
    Abstract: Family photographs, albums, clippings and other items relating to the early life and career of photographer Carl Moon (1878-1948) and his wife, Grace Moon.
    Language: English.
    Finding aid last updated on January 28, 2014.


    Open to qualified researchers by prior application through the Reader Services Department. For more information, contact Reader Services.

    Administration Information

    Publication Rights

    The Huntington Library does not require that researchers request permission to quote from or publish images of this material, nor does it charge fees for such activities. The responsibility for identifying the copyright holder, if there is one, and obtaining necessary permissions rests with the researcher.

    Preferred Citation

    Carl Moon Collection of Family Photographs and Ephemera. The Huntington Library, San Marino, California.


    A portion of the collection was purchased and the remainder was donated by Louis F. D'Elia and Michael D. Salazar, 2008.

    Processing information

    This collection was processed by Jennifer A. Watts and the original paper finding aid was prepared in November 1994.

    Biographical Note

    Carl E. Moon (also spelled Karl) was born in Wilmington, Ohio, in 1878, to parents Sylvester B. Moon and Lucy Brunetta Moon. After graduation from high school, he served two years with the Ohio National Guard before apprenticing with various photographers in Ohio, West Virginia and Texas. He moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico in 1903, where he set up a photography studio and began making "art studies" of the Native Americans of the Southwest, both in photographs and in oil paintings, sometimes living for weeks at a time in Navajo villages. From 1905-1906, Moon had a short-lived partnership in Albuquerque with businessman Thomas F. Keleher, called the Moon-Keleher Studio. After the partnership dissolved, Moon continued working, photographing carefully selected Indian "'subjects"' in a romantic, posed style. His photographs began appearing in magazines and he exhibited at the Museum of Natural History in New York. President Theodore Roosevelt invited Moon to exhibit his Native American photographs at the White House.
    In 1907, Moon signed a contract with the Fred Harvey Company to produce photographs for what would be the Fred Harvey Collection of Southwest Indian Pictures. Beginning in 1911, he operated out of El Tovar Studio in the Grand Canyon. While employed by the Fred Harvey Co., he also worked as a photographer for the Santa Fe Railroad. For seven years, from 1907 to 1914, Moon photographed the native people of the Southwest, in his studio and in their villages. His images appeared (often uncredited) in brochures and publications for both companies.
    Moon resigned from Fred Harvey Co. in 1914, and he and his second wife, Grace Purdie Moon, moved to Pasadena, California, where he continued to work as a photographer and painter. In 1923, Henry E. Huntington purchased from Moon 293 large, mounted photographic prints and 12 oil paintings (12 more paintings were purchased in 1925). This remains the largest and most complete collection of Carl Moon's work extant.
    In 1924, Moon began work on "Indians of the Southwest," a set of 100 of his finest prints. Published in 1936, only ten copies were ever produced. With his wife Grace, he also wrote and illustrated many children's books about the Indians of the Southwest. Moon died in 1948, in San Francisco, at the home of his daughter.

    Related collections in the Huntington Library include:

    Scope and Content

    This collection focuses on the personal lives of photographer Carl Moon and his wife Grace, who wrote a series of children's books revolving around Hopi and Navajo culture in the Southwest. There are several portraits of both of them, some taken by Carl, as well as portraits of other Moon relatives. A photo/clipping album contains many scenes of their early home life in Pasadena, California, with their two children, along with clippings about their careers. There is one view of Grace Moon at El Tovar studio in the Grand Canyon.
    Another album details several generations of the Moon family in photographs dating from the mid-19th to early-20th centuries. The photos are identified in ink or pencil, and there is one baby photo of Carl Moon.
    There are several photographs of Moon's mother, Lucy Brunetta Moon, and five of her daily diaries. Also included are reproductions of artwork by Grace Moon, and some original drawings by Ernest Moon (Carl's brother). An interesting commercial item is a 1909 brochure for Hotel El Tovar at the Grand Canyon featuring photographs of the hotel (it's unclear if they were taken by Moon).


    The collection is organized in 5 boxes:
    • Boxes 1-2: Portraits and other photographs
    • Box 3: Artwork; high school diplomas; family photo album (bulk 1905-1916)
    • Box 4: Moon family portrait album (mid-19th to early-20th c.)
    • Box 5: Journals and ephemera

    Indexing Terms

    Moon, Carl, 1878-1948.
    Moon, Grace, 1877-1947.
    Moon, Lucy Brunetta.
    Hotels -- Arizona -- Guidebooks.
    Hotel El Tovar
    Pasadena (Calif.)
    Photograph albums.
    Diaries -- 20th century.