Prince Maximilian of Wied and Swiss artist Karl Bodmer, traveled the West during a transformative period in the country from 1832-1834.
Not long after the two finished their exploration, the first real wave of settlement and industrialization began to hit the West. Toby Jurovics is the Chief Curator and Holland Curator of American Western Art for the Joslyn Art Museum.
He says the journals of Wied and Bodmer are important historical documents that help describe what the West was like at the beginning of the 19th century.
“Right at the cusp of this period when the West becomes absorbed and expanded by the United States. 35 years later you have a huge national and corporate endeavor to industrialize the West. And the railroad changes everything about how we moved through that landscape.”
The three volumes were translated from German into English, a process that took several years to complete. This Saturday, the Joslyn will hold a symposium of speakers to celebrate the publication of the final journal.
Topics will include Wied and Bodmer’s influence on zoology as well as the disappearance of the buffalo from the West. More information is available online at www.joslyn.org.