Karl Bodmer (1809-1893)

Swiss Painter and Explorer of the American West

by Michael G. Noll, Ph.D.

Karl Bodmer

(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 Illustrations:


These illustrations accompanied Prince Maximilian of Wied's North American travel accounts as published in Germany in 1839-41. A left-click on individual images will display the captions of the original plates, as translated into English by the author of this website. With a right-click you can save these images and use them for art projects, reports, and other endeavors. Enjoy!

































For anyone interested in learning more about Karl Bodmer's America, I wholeheartedly recommend the Josyln Art Museum in Omaha, Nebraska!


For further information on Karl Bodmer read:

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Garrett, Madelyn Dean, Karl Bodmer's Aquatints: The Changing Image (Salt Lake City: University of Utah, Unpublished Thesis, 1990).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



Please contact me if you have any questions.


Michael G. Noll, Ph.D.
Professor of Geography

2216 Nevins Hall
Physics, Astronomy, & Geosciences
Valdosta State University
Valdosta, GA  31698
Phone: (229) 333-7143
Fax: (229) 219-1201
  Web: mypages.valdosta.edu/mgnoll/

or by e-mail! 

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Copyright: If not indicated otherwise, text, photos and reproductions are by Michael G. Noll.


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