Karl Bodmer

Karl Bodmer (1809-1893)
(photographer unknown, 1877)

This website is dedicated to the Swiss painter Karl Bodmer who accompanied Prince Maximilian of Wied on his journey to North America in 1832-34. Bodmer’s drawings of the North American landscapes, and particularly the northern Plains Indians, are priceless. They allow us an insight into a world that still seemed fairly untouched by the chaos that unfolded soon after the travelers had returned back home. From the continuing impact of the fur trade and the encroachment of European settlers on Indian territories, to the devastation caused by diseases such as cholera — Indian life and the North American landscapes as depicted by Karl Bodmer would never be the same again.

Gallery of Karl Bodmer’s North American drawings. These illustrations were part of Prince Maximilian of Wied’s North American travel accounts as published in Germany in 1839-41. The depicted thumbprints can be saved as full images by right-clicking on them, for use in art projects, reports, and other endeavors.

For further information on Karl Bodmer:

Ewers, John C. et al., Views of a Vanishing Frontier (Omaha: Joslyn Art Museum, 1984).

Freedman, Russel, An Indian Winter–Paintings and Drawings by Karl Bodmer (New York: Holiday House, 1992).

Gallagher, Marsha V. and John F. Sears, Karl Bodmer’s Eastern Views–A Journey in North America (Omaha: Joslyn Art Museum, 1996).

Garrett, Madelyn Dean, Karl Bodmer’s Aquatints: The Changing Image (Salt Lake City: University of Utah, Unpublished Thesis, 1990).

Hunt, David C. and Marsha V. Gallagher (eds.), Karl Bodmer’s America (Omaha: Joslyn Art Museum, 1984).

Landesmuseum Koblenz, Praerie- und Plainsindianer–Die Reise in das innere Nord-Amerika von Maximilian Prinz zu Wied und Karl Bodmer (Mainz: Hermann Schmidt, 1993).

Laeng, Hans, Indianer waren meine Freunde–Leben und Werk Karl Bodmers (1809-1893) (Zug: Knobel Art Collections, 1993).

Prestel Verlag, Adventures in Art: Journey to Native America (Regensburg: Aumueller Druck KG, 1999).

Taschen Verlag, Icons: The American Indian – by Karl Bodmer (Koeln: Thomas Grell, 2005).

Thomas, David and Karin Ronnefeldt, People of the First Man–Life Among the Plains Indians in Their Final Days of Glory (New York: E.P. Dutton & Co., 1976).

Wood, Raymond W., Joseph C. Porter & David C. Hunt, Karl Bodmer’s Studio Art: The Newberry Library Bodmer Collection. (Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 2002).