Karl Bodmer

Karl Bodmer

A Swiss Artist in America 1809–1893

This volume collects the watercolors, sketches, and engravings Bodmer made on his 1832 journey along the Ohio and Missouri Rivers.


  • Out of Stock


Title Information

Edited by the Nordamerika Native Museum Zurich. Essays by Peter Bolz, Denise Daenzer, Hartwig Isernhagen, and Sonja Schierle

New edition

, 2018

Text English and German


208 pages, 114 color illustrations

21 x 25 cm

ISBN 978-3-85881-600-9


In May of 1832, Swiss artist Karl Bodmer (1809–93) set out with Maximilian, Prince of Wied, a German aristocrat and scientist, on a twenty-eight-month journey along the Ohio and Missouri Rivers. For Bodmer, the expedition resulted in more than four hundred watercolors and sketches of Native American people, landscapes, animals, and plants. Engravings of many of the images were subsequently used to illustrate Travels in the Interiors of North America, Prince Maximilian’s well-known historical account. Karl Bodmer is a homage to the great painter who captured for the rest of the world so many important natural details of early America.

Presented here are all eighty-one engravings used to illustrate Maximilian’s book, as well as the original watercolors, sketches, and photographs of artifacts collected during the legendary passage. Bodmer’s detailed work is among the most important documents of Native American culture from that region. Almost all of these images are held today in public collections in the United States, including large collections at the Newberry Library in Chicago, the Baltimore Museum of Art, and the Joslyn Art Museum in Omaha.

Karl Bodmer is a richly illustrated volume that brings to life a monumental event in both art history and the history of early America. First published in 2009 to coincide with an exhibition at the Nordamerika Native Museum in Zürich, it has been out of print for some time and is now becoming available again in a new edition.

Authors & Editors

Peter Bolz

 has been curator of  the collection of American Art at Berlin's Ethnological Museum 1989–2012. He has published widely on art and culture of North America's native people.

Denise Daenzer

 has been senior curator at Zurich's Nordamerika Native Museum (NONAM) 1993–2013.

Hartwig Isernhagen

 is Professor emeritus of American Literature and American Studies at University of Basel, Switzerland.

Sonja Schierle

 is senior curator of the North America Department at Linden-Museum in Stuttgart, Germany.