A photo shot in Gay Street studio in 1899 reprinted just in time for Christmas. The grandson of the photographer wants to continue the legacy of the Knaffl Madonna and Child.


His grandfather's photography studio was on Gay Street in downtown Knoxville.

"My mother was born on Gay Street. She was called BOGS, Born On Gay Street," Dave Baker said.

He is producing reproductions of a photo they both were a part of. His mother was in it. His grandfather took it.

"He was a great photographer, a great artist, and he developed this picture and he took the photograph and this was in 1899," he said.

Joseph Knaffl took the photograph 114 years ago.

Family friend Emma Fanz was Mary, the Madonna. And his chose his own daughter Josephine Knaffl to be the child, baby Jesus.

"He got the idea of having the Madonna and child in that position that it's in from the full moon showing the three pictures in the moon with the Madonna looking down at the child," he said.

Dave Baker said the photo was an immediate hit. A century later, the classic subject and beautiful composition even convinced Hallmark to feature the image on two Christmas cards.

"He won many, many awards with that picture and he took it to several places and he sold thousands and thousands," he said.

Now he's selling reproductions of the picture at different spots in Knoxville.

"I'm not going to make any money out of it and I don't want to," he said.

He wants the Knaffl Madonna and Child from 1899 to touch people in 2013.

"It's a tribute to my mother and to my grandfather and that's why I'm really doing it because I feel like it's history, it's Knoxville history," he said.

The picture is available online as well as at the Southern Market, the East Tennessee History Center, Paraclete Catholic Book Store, and Antiques & Estate Vintage Collectibles.