The Wild Bunch

John Swartz (lifedates unknown)
Gelatin silver print, 1900

National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.; gift of Pinkerton’s, Inc.

According to western lore, after robbing a Nevada bank in 1900 and escaping with more than
 $30,000, the Wild Bunch outfitted themselves in dapper suits and sat for this group portrait, copies of which were sent to the bank and the Pinkerton Detective Agency as a joke. The Wild Bunch, also known as the “Hole in the Wall Gang,” had a varied membership; however, its most notorious members are shown in this group portrait. The heist of the Nevada bank was one of their most successful robberies and one of their final jaunts as a group. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid later escaped to South America, where they continued their life of crime.

The Wild Bunch’s brazen robberies and repeated escapes from law enforcement made them  famous in their day. Since then, Hollywood has transformed this group of outlaws into mythic American icons.

Seated, left to right: Harry Longabaugh (“The Sundance Kid”) 1870–1909? Ben Kilpatrick (“The Tall Texan”) ?–1912 Robert LeRoy Parker (“Butch Cassidy”) 1866–1909? Standing, left to right: William Todd Carver (“Bill”) c. 1866–1901 Harvey Logan (“Kid Curry”) 1865–1903