Early 1900 photo collection


A unique and original photo collection is being displayed at Gallery 107 West this month.

Local art aficionado Ross Harper purchased photos of American Louis G. Knight, who served as Governor in the Philippines in the early 1900s.

The 38 photos were taken after the Spanish-American War, when the United States occupied the Philippines.

The photos come from the family of Knight, who were so far removed they had no connection and decided to sell them.

The photos have been shown before in Austin. The collection, according to Harper, feature a more humanizing look at the Philippines than other photos of the same time frame show.

Harper will be hosting a free artist talk on Sept. 14 to give history and background on the photos.

He will also speak to the importance of preserving old family photos and family histories.

A self-proclaimed nerd, Harper said he went on an ancestry web site to start linking Knight's family tree and trying to get as much information as he could on what was happening during the time the photos were taken.

He loves collecting old photos from estate sales and piecing together stories.

He hopes people will come and check out his photo collection.

“I like them, I think it's interesting,” said Harper.

He has never determined the photographer, but in one of the photos is of a young girl who later showed up in a National Geographic in 1911.

Harper also has that copy of National Geographic to show.