Night and Day: Wednesday, July 16, 2003
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
Karlís America

Prince Alexander Philipp Maximilian zu Wied-Neuwied was a 19th-century German nobleman whose training as a scientist had led him to journey to South America in 1815. Seventeen years later, he was ready to make a similar trip to the United States to study the people and the wildlife. On this trip, he hired on a 24-year-old Swiss painter named Karl Bodmer to help him document what he saw. Over the next two years, Bodmer produced a number of landscapes and portraits that gave an unromanticized picture of life in the Rocky Mountains and northern plains.

A series of prints from these paintings was published in Europe when Bodmer returned from America. The process by which preliminary sketches became paintings and then prints is extensively documented in the Amon Carter Museumís new exhibit, A Faithful and Vivid Picture: Karl Bodmerís North American Prints. However, the show delivers more than just insight into the permutations of Bodmerís art. Much of the territory that he depicted is now under water because of damming on the Missouri River. The tribes of Blackfoot and Mandan Indians, among whom the artist spent much time in order to accurately capture their rituals, were decimated shortly thereafter by smallpox. The Carterís show is a large part of what is left to us of these vanished peoples and their world.

A Faithful and Vivid Picture: Karl Bodmerís North American Prints runs Jul 19-Sep 14 at Amon Carter Museum, 3501 Camp Bowie Blvd, FW. Admission is free. Call 817-738-1933.


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