Joseph Knaffl (October 9, 1861 – March 23, 1938) was an American art and portrait photographer, active in Knoxville, Tennessee, during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. He is best known for his 1899 portrait, “Knaffl Madonna,” which has been reprinted thousands of times, and is still used for Hallmark Christmas cards. Knaffl was a partner in two Knoxville studios: Knaffl and Brother, formed in 1884, and Knaffl and Brakebill, formed in 1909.
Knaffl was born in Wartburg, Tennessee, in 1861, the son of Austrian-born physician, Rudolph Knaffl, and his wife, Rosalie. Rudolph Knaffl had been a court physician at the emperor’s court in Vienna before moving to the United States in the aftermath of the Revolutions of 1848. After serving as a Union Army physician during the Civil War, Dr. Knaffl moved his family to Knoxville, where he practiced medicine.