Museum of the Southwest

Midland, TX



Reflections of a Journey: Engravings After Karl Bodmer


In 1833 and 1834, a historic journey was made up the Missouri River by Prince Maximilian, a German naturalist and explorer, and Karl Bodmer (1809-1893), a Swiss painter and illustrator.Their mission was to gather and record information about the American environment and native peoples. The body of work produced by this scholar and artist is now recognized as a primary resource on the rich and varied culture of the Northern Plains Indians.

Left to right: Ft. Clark, February, 1834, 984.8.48; Pehriska-Ruhph Minatarri Warrier, 984.8.56; Massika, Saki Indian and Wakusasse, 984.8.36; Mato-Tope, 984.8.47; Indians Hunting the Bison, 984.8.64

Between 1839 and 1843, a picture atlas of 81 of Bodmer's aquatint was published. This atlas served as the only available reference to Bodmer's North American work for more than 100 years. Bodmer, a meticulous draftsman, captured the American frontier at the height of its raw energies. His remarkable scope and technical virtuosity present one of the most comprehensive visual surveys of the American frontier ever produced. (left: Interior of the Hut of a Mandan Chief, 984.8.52)

Reflections of a Journey will consist of more than 40 aquatint engravings from the the Museum of the Southwest. These creative works have not been displayed at the Museum since the national tour of the collection commenced in 1997. This will be an excellent opportunity to see these familiar old prints.

Read more about the Museum of the Southwest in Resource Library Magazine

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Search for more articles and essays on American art in Resource Library. See America's Distinguished Artists for biographical information on historic artists.

This page was originally published in 2000 in Resource Library Magazine. Please see Resource Library's Overview section for more information.

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