Presentation Details

The Second International Conference on New Directions in the Humanities

Karl Bodmer: Artist of the Early American West

Prof Brooke Bulovsky Cameron.

Karl Bodmer travelled in the American West with Prince Maximillian von Weid in l833-34, some thirty years after the voyage of Lewis and Clark. As we approach the bicentennial of their voyage, Bodmer’s visual contributions to our knowledge of the Louisiana Purchase becomes of great interest. The original places and peoples are gone for the most part, the river has been changed by time and engineers.
Compared to other artists of the early West : Catlin and Miller, Bodmer is also the better artist. In fact his western American paintings are probably the most significant work of his life. He was in his early twenties when he undertook the commission from the Prince.
This paper will show Bodmer’s impressions of the landscape and the native people of the Louisiana Purchase. When possible his landscapes will be contrasted with views of the same sites as they exist today.
The paper will also investigate his career and see his American work in context with the remainder of his long career as he returned to Europe.
The quality and uniqueness of his work make his contribution well worth investigating, particularly in the light of the national interest in bicentennial of the Lewis and Clark expedition


Prof Brooke Bulovsky Cameron  (United States)
Professor of Art
College of Arts and Sciences
University of Missouri

A graduate of the University of Wisconsin, Madison and the University of Iowa. Prof. Cameron She is best known as a studio teacher and printmaker and exhibits her work nationally. She is currently also working on a book on her Aunt’s experiences in WWI as a battlefield nurse.

  • Karl Bodmer
  • Lewis and Clark
  • American Western Art

(30 min. Conference Paper, English)