Karl Bodmer: North American Portraits
Apr 5, 2021 - Jul 25, 2021
Ticket: $25.00*
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Swiss-born Karl Bodmer (1809–1893) was one of the first and most accomplished European artists to document the landscape of the North American interior and its Indigenous peoples. He was hired by the German explorer and naturalist Maximilian, Prince of Wied-Neuwied, to accompany an expedition to the northwestern reaches of the Missouri River in 1833–34. Together they traveled from Saint Louis through the tribal lands of the Omaha, Mandan, Hidatsa, and Blackfoot, among many Plains nations where Bodmer executed watercolor portraits in situ. A meticulous draftsman, he produced portraits that are notable for their sensitivity of depiction and subtle, refined brushwork. Bodmer’s precise observation of his sitters—in facial likeness, body decoration, and regalia—conveys eyewitness testimony to the lives of specific individuals and the complexity of cultural encounters. The exhibition features thirty-five portraits, along with six landscape and genre scenes, and several related aquatints, all from the comprehensive Bodmer holdings of the Joslyn Art Museum in Omaha.
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