Fred Kiser - Fine Art Prints of Historical Photos

Fred Kiser - Fine Art Prints of Historical Photos

Brothers Fred and Oscar Kiser began taking scenic photographs as a hobby, which evolved into a business in 1902. Their early career was boosted when they were named the official photographers for Portland’s Lewis and Clark Exposition in 1905.

The brothers were in business together until Oscar died of accidental drowning in late 1905. After Oscar’s death, Fred became a premier photographer of mountain landscapes, and one of the most successful commercial photographers in the country during the first decades of the twentieth century.

Kiser’s photographs of Crater Lake helped publicize the lake, and his work photographing northwestern Montana contributed to the creation of Glacier National Park. Additionally, Kiser worked as a photographer for the Great Northern Railway and took photos of the construction of the Columbia River Highway in the years prior to World War I.

After the War, Kiser started the Scenic America Company to sell his colorized prints using the slogan “See America First.” Under this company name, he sold prints and developed film at Crater Lake throughout the 1920s.

He later moved to the Los Angeles area, where he died in 1955.

--Summarized from The Oregon History Project at ohs.org

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  1. Along the Shore at Crater Lake - Kiser

    Along the Shore at Crater Lake - c. 1910

    This hand-tinted view by Kiser looks along the south shore of the lake, towards Mount Scott in the distance. Learn More
  2. Annie Creek Canyon, Crater Lake - Kiser

    Annie Creek Canyon, Crater Lake - c. 1925

    Pinnacles formed by erosion around ancient volcanic vents can be seen on the right slope of Annie Creek Canyon, located near Mazama Village at Crater Lake. Learn More
  3. Applegate Peak, Crater Lake - Kiser

    Applegate Peak, Crater Lake - c. 1907

    Applegate Peak is located on the south rim of Crater Lake, just to the east of the slightly shorter Garfield Peak. It forms the western limb of Sun Notch Learn More
  4. Capt. Applegate & Joaquin Miller at Klamath Agency, Steel Excursion - Kiser

    Capt. Applegate & Joaquin Miller at Klamath Agency, Steel Excursion - 1903

    Capt. O. C. Applegate was not a member of the Steel Excursion; he was leading his own party of thirty to the rim at the same time, and the two groups interacted. Learn More
  5. Columbia River near White Salmon - Kiser

    Columbia River near White Salmon c. 1916

    Pine trees dominate the foreground in this scenic photo by Fred Kiser. His ability to quickly create artistic compositions is demonstrated by the thousands of scenic views he captured during his career. Learn More
  6. Crater Lake as Seen from the Studio on Victor Rock - Kiser

    Crater Lake as Seen from the Studio on Victor Rock - c. 1925

    Photographer Fred Kiser didn't have to go far to create this photograph; it's taken from the front porch of his studio on the rim of Crater Lake. Learn More
  7. Crater Lake from Castle Crest - Kiser

    Crater Lake from Castle Crest - 1903

    This early view of Crater Lake was created by brothers Fred and Oscar Kiser, as part of a series documenting the Will G. Steel Excursion in 1903. Learn More
  8. Crater Lake from the South Rim - Kiser

    Crater Lake from the South Rim - c. 1910

    This colorful view of Crater Lake is recreated from a hand-tinted photograph produced by Fred Kiser in about 1910. Learn More
  9. Crown Point Before Vista House - Kiser

    Crown Point Before Vista House - c. 1916

    This unusual view shows Crown Point before Vista House was built, but apparently after the Columbia River Highway was completed. That would date it to a short span of time in 1916. Learn More
  10. Diamond Lake and Mount Thielsen - Fred Kiser

    Diamond Lake and Mount Thielsen - c 1918

    Diamond Lake is located north of Crater Lake in Douglas County, and is about halfway between Mt. Thielsen and Mt. Bailey. Learn More
  11. Dinner at Eagle Point, Steel Excursion to Crater Lake - Kiser

    Dinner at Eagle Point, Steel Excursion to Crater Lake - 1903

    This photo showing much of the 1903 Steel Excursion was taken by Fred and Oscar Kiser, who were the official photographers of that trip. Learn More
  12. Dutton Cliff from Garfield Peak, Crater Lake - Kiser

    Dutton Cliff from Garfield Peak, Crater Lake - c. 1907

    This hand-tinted photo was taken from about half-way up Garfield Peak, where a trail was built between 1905 and 1910. Learn More
  13. Eagle's Nest Closeup, Columbia River Highway - Kiser

    Eagle's Nest Closeup, Columbia River Highway - c. 1916

    This image is recreated from a hand-colored print made by the Fred Kiser Company, as part of a series publicizing the new scenic highway. Learn More
  14. Eagle's Nest, Columbia River Highway - Kiser

    Eagle's Nest, Columbia River Highway - c. 1916

    "Eagle's Nest" is the name given by Samuel Lancaster to this small viewing area when he designed it as part of the Columbia River Highway. Learn More
  15. East of Multnomah Falls, Columbia River Highway - Kiser

    East of Multnomah Falls, Columbia River Highway - c. 1916

    Many of Kiser's Columbia River Highway photos contrast the geometric lines of bridges and railings with the organic forms of the Columbia River Valley. Learn More
  16. Elowah Falls in Autumn, Columbia River Highway - Kiser

    Elowah Falls in Autumn, Columbia River Highway - c. 1916

    Elowah Falls are on McCord Creek, and were originally called McCord Falls, which is the name given on our hand-tinted original print. Learn More
  17. First Photo Showing Entire Crater Lake, from Mt. Scott - Kiser

    First Photo Showing Entire Crater Lake, from Mt. Scott - 1903

    Fred and his brother Oscar Kiser were very proud of this photo, as it was the first time the entire lake was captured on on photograph. Learn More
  18. Grand Arch, Crater Lake - Kiser

    Grand Arch, Crater Lake - c. 1925

    A loan boater guides his craft across Crater Lake in this photo taken from the Grand Arch on the west shore. Learn More
  19. Joaquin Miller Writing a Poem, Steel Excursion - Kiser

    Joaquin Miller Writing a Poem, Steel Excursion - 1903

    Joaquin Miller, "The Poet of the Sierras", was about 65 when he joined the Will G. Steel Excursion to Crater Lake. He was hired by Sunset Magazine to report on his trip. Learn More
  20. Latourelle Bridge, Columbia River Highway - Kiser

    Latourelle Bridge, Columbia River Highway - c. 1916

    Looking across the newly completed bridge, we can still see a ladder below and planks piled in the distance. Learn More
  21. Launching the Boat, Steel Party at Crater Lake - Kiser

    Launching the Boat, Steel Party at Crater Lake - 1903

    This was not the first boat on Crater Lake, but it was an important one, lowered to the lake by the Will G. Steel excursion in 1903. Learn More
  22. Lava Dike in Devil's Backbone, Crater Lake - Kiser

    Lava Dike in Devil's Backbone, Crater Lake - c. 1907

    This tinted photo of Devil's Backbone with Llao Rock in the background was created by Fred Kiser, likely early in his career. Learn More
  23. Llao Rock and Mt. Thielsen, Crater Lake - Kiser

    Llao Rock and Mt. Thielsen, Crater Lake - c. 1907

    This early sepia-tone photo by scenic photographer Fred Kiser features Llao Rock, the vertical cliff in the center, and Mt. Thielsen, the pointed mountain in the distance. Learn More
  24. Llao Rock and Mt. Thielsen, Crater Lake - Kiser

    Llao Rock and Mt. Thielsen, Crater Lake - c. 1907

    This photo was taken from Rim Village, near where Crater Lake Lodge was built. Learn More
  25. Looking up the Columbia River from Inspiration Point - Kiser

    Looking up the Columbia River from Inspiration Point - c. 1916

    This vantage point takes in both Rooster Rock, on the left, and Crown Point, on the right. Vista House has yet to be constructed. Learn More
  26. Lowering a Boat through Cleetwood Canyon to Crater Lake - Kiser

    Lowering a Boat through Cleetwood Canyon to Crater Lake - 1903

    Cleetwood Canyon, located behind the current lodge, was named by William Steel because this is the location where the Cleetwood, the first boat to reach the lake, was slid down in 1886. Learn More
  27. Launching the Boat - The Start, Steel Excursion, Crater Lake - Kiser

    Lowering the Boat "The Start" down to Crater Lake - 1903

    Part of the Will G. Steel Excursion helps to lower the boat down to the lake. The boat was likely named for the fact that Crater Lake National Park was created the year before. Learn More
  28. Mist Falls, Columbia Highway 1,200 Feet Below - Kiser

    Mist Falls, Columbia Highway 1,200 Feet Below - c. 1916

    This image is recreated from a hand-tinted original still in its folder, labeled "Artograph, Hand colored in oil, Kiser Studio, Portland, Oregon." Learn More
  29. Mitchell's Point from the Washington Side - Kiser

    Mitchell's Point from the Washington Side - c. 1916

    An unusual view of Mitchell's point, looking at it from a distance rather than the classic photos taken from inside the "windowed" tunnel. Learn More
  30. Multnomah Creek Bridge, Columbia River Highway - Kiser

    Multnomah Creek Bridge, Columbia River Highway - c. 1915

    This photo was taken shortly after the car bridge below Multnomah Falls was completed in 1914. The roadway itself was yet to be paved. Learn More
  31. Near View, Wizard Island, Crater Lake - Fred Kiser

    Near View, Wizard Island, Crater Lake - c. 1927

    This close-up view of Wizard Island is identified on its back as being by Fred H. Kiser, Authorized Photographer for Crater Lake National Park. Learn More
  32. Nearing Summit of Castle Crest, Steel Excursion to Crater Lake - Kiser

    Nearing Summit of Castle Crest, Steel Excursion to Crater Lake - 1903

    Some of the twenty-seven members of the Steel Excursion make their way to the top of Castle Crest, near where Crater Lake Lodge now stands. Learn More
  33. Note / Greeting Card Assortment: Fred Kiser Tinted

    Note / Greeting Card Assortment: Fred Kiser Tinted

    $20.00

    Six note / greeting cards from photographer Fred Kiser, selected from his hand-tinted originals.

    Learn More
  34. On Rim of Crater Lake, Will G. Steel Excursion - Kiser

    On Rim of Crater Lake, Will G. Steel Excursion - 1903

    Some of the principals of the Steel excursion are artfully posed on the rim of Crater Lake by the excursion's photographer, Fred Kiser. Learn More
  35. Party Leaving Medford, Steel Crater Lake Excursion - Kiser

    Party Leaving Medford, Steel Crater Lake Excursion - 1903

    In 1903, a promotional excursion to Crater Lake was organized by Will G. Steel, who advocated for the newly designated national park there for years. Learn More
  36. Party Leaving Stewarts, Will G. Steel Excursion - Fred Kiser

    Party Leaving Stewarts, Will G. Steel Excursion - 1903

    The Will G. Steel Excursion was organized by Steel to help promote the recently established Crater Lake National Park. Starting from Medford, the party spent their second night on the Rogue River at the mountain retreat of Joseph H. Stewart, a prominent Medford orchard owner. Learn More
  37. Phantom Ship and Mount Scott at Crater Lake - Kiser

    Phantom Ship and Mount Scott at Crater Lake - c. 1910

    While the original print for this view is not signed, it is numbered on the back in pencil, with the handwriting and number series matching signed Kiser prints. Learn More
  38. Phantom Ship Island, Crater Lake - Kiser

    Phantom Ship Island, in Crater Lake - 1919

    This photo was used by the American landscape artist Henry Howard Bagg (1852-1928) as the foundation for his painting #1510, featured in a calendar from the Murphy Calendar Company of Red Oak, Iowa. Learn More
  39. Phantom Ship, Crater Lake - Kiser

    Phantom Ship, Crater Lake - c. 1919

    We're dating this hand-tinted photo to 1919, as the black and white version shown below in Related Items was published that year. However, the colorized version shown here was published about 1925. Learn More
  40. Pinnacles at Sand Creek Canyon, Crater Lake - Kiser

    Pinnacles at Sand Creek Canyon, Crater Lake - c. 1925

    The Pinnacles are spires of eroded rock, located at the confluence of Sand Creek and Wheeler Creek. Some are as much as 200 feet high. Learn More
  41. Riders at Head of Lake Chelan - Kiser

    Riders at Head of Lake Chelan - c. 1920

    Lake Chelan, in northern Washington State, is the third-deepest lake in the United States, at over 1400 feet. Learn More
  42. Sen. Fulton's Party Leaving Medford, Steel Excursion - Kiser

    Sen. Fulton's Party Leaving Medford, Steel Excursion - 1903

    A companion photo to another in this series that shows the larger part of the excursion on Medford's Main Street. Fulton's carriage is facing east at about Front Street. Learn More
  43. Sentinel Rock from the rim of Crater Lake - Kiser

    Sentinel Rock from the rim of Crater Lake - c. 1915

    This view along the rim of Crater Lake features Sentinel Rock, the bare rock formation beyond the trees that reaches to the upper left corner of the photo. Learn More
  44. Shepperd's Dell Bridge, Looking Towards the River - Kiser

    Shepperd's Dell Bridge, Looking Towards the River - c. 1916

    In 1915, photographer Fred Kiser sold his Portland studio to his partner Clarence L. Winter so he could concentrate on creating a series of promotional photos for the new Columbia River Highway. Learn More
  45. South Shore View, Crater Lake - Fred Kiser

    South Shore View, Crater Lake - circa 1907

    The original for this image is a large black and white print made by photographer Fred Kiser. Learn More
  46. South Sister and Fall Creek - Kiser

    South Sister and Fall Creek - circa 1918

    This photograph is recreated from a 7 by 9 inch print made by Fred Kiser in the period when he owned the Scenic America Company in Portland. Learn More
  47. Summer at Crater Lake - Kiser

    Summer at Crater Lake - c. 1925

    Summer is relative at Crater Lake, where average snowfall is 533 inches per year. You can see a bit of snow still on the ground in this image. Learn More
  48. Summer at Crater Lake - Fred Kiser

    Summer at Crater Lake - circa 1907

    This nicely-composed image comes from a larger black and white print made by photographer Fred Kiser. As you can see, even in summer Crater Lake can have snow. Learn More
  49. Sunset from Wizard Island, Crater Lake - Kiser

    Sunset from Wizard Island, Crater Lake - c. 1925

    While the original print for this hand-tinted view includes the title of "Sunset", it's hard to tell the difference between it and other prints by this particular colorist for Kiser, as all have colorful skies. Learn More
  50. Sunset from Wizard Island, Crater Lake - Fred Kiser

    Sunset from Wizard Island, Crater Lake - circa 1907

    Wizard Island, the cone-shaped island in Crater Lake, was large enough to attract early visitors, including photographer Fred Kiser. Learn More

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