George Frederick Keller

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George Frederick Keller
Self-caricature, 1878
Diedafter 1883
Known forCartooning
Notable workThe Wasp

George Frederick Keller (1846–?) was a cartoonist active in California, known as the primary illustrator of the San Francisco satirical magazine The Wasp. Born in Prussia, he emigrated to the United States and fought in the U.S. Civil War, settling in California around 1870.[1][2] He apprenticed to lithographer George Baker, where his first job was lithographing colorful cigar box labels.[3][4] He joined The Wasp, also founded by Prussian immigrants, with its first issue, debuting in August 1876. Some of his work reflected the anti-Chinese and anti-immigrant sentiment of late 19th-Century San Francisco in highly racialized stereotypes, depicting Chinese as rat-like invaders, Irish as Neanderthals, and Jews as hook-nosed moneylenders.[2][5] Keller's final cartoon was published June 30, 1883, after which he left the San Francisco area "and was never heard from again".[6]


  1. ^ Dawdy, Doris Ostrander (1974). Artists of the American West: A Biographical Dictionary. Vol. II. Chicago: Sage Books. p. 153. ISBN 0804006075.
  2. ^ a b Brechin, Gray (Fall 2002). "The Wasp: Stinging Editorials and Political Cartoons" (PDF). Bancroftiana. Friends of The Bancroft Library (121): 1+8. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2018-01-16.
  3. ^ Olmstead, Roger (1976). "The Cigar-box Papers". California Historical Quarterly. 55 (3): 256–269. doi:10.2307/25157644. JSTOR 25157644.
  4. ^ Hall, Nicholas Sean (2013). "The Wasp's "Troublesome Children": Culture, Satire, and the Anti-Chinese Movement in the American West". California History. 90 (2): 42–76. doi:10.2307/41936500. JSTOR 41936500.
  5. ^ Nan Goodman; Simon Stern (12 May 2017). The Routledge Research Companion to Law and Humanities in Nineteenth-Century America. Taylor & Francis. pp. 279–. ISBN 978-1-317-04297-6.
  6. ^ West, Richard Samuel (2004). The San Francisco Wasp: An Illustrated History. Easthampton, Massachusetts: Periodyssey Press. pp. 79–80. ISBN 978-0971849440.

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