Udo Keppler’s often overshadowed by his father, the seminal satirical cartoonist and PUCK founder Joseph Keppler. And perhaps Udo was self-conscious of this patriarchal eclipse: the younger Keppler changed his name to Joseph after the elder died. But Udo K. had no reason to be anxious about his own work, nor about his legacy: he was known in his day and is remembered today as one of the most incisive, biting commentators in American history.
Best known for his anthropomorphism of Standard Oil as an earth-strangling octopus, Keppler’s work extolled all sorts of progressive social and political matters, like fighting for the little guy, while taking on anti-American but all-too-persistance stances like xenophobia and jingoism. Yet for all his progressivism on certain issues, Keppler’s politics weren’t completely black and white, as seen in the above 1903 cartoon that appears to encourage labor lock outs and the one below, an 1894 image that shows Catholic Cardinal and Vatican diplomat Francesco Satolli casting a menacing shadow across the States.
Regardless of such narrow thinking on these subjects, most of Keppler’s work leaned left, and I’ve included nine more resonant images BELOW.
(And for more “Found in the LOC,” click HERE.)