BODMER, Karl (1809-1893)
New-Harmony on the Wabash
[Tab. 2] [Leipzig: Schmidt and Guenther, 1922]. Engraving by Lucas Weber after Bodmer. Sheet size: 19 5/8 x 25 1/2 inches. Plate mark: 15 1/4 x 21 inches.
From the scarce Leipzig edition printed from the original copper-plates. Limited in number, the prints from the Leipzig edition are more scarce than, and compare favorably to, the first edition. (David C. Hunt, "Karl Bodmer and the American Frontier," Imprint/Spring 85, p.18)
This is one of the greatest landscape images to result from the Bodmer and Prince Maximilian's expedition to America's "Interior Parts." A tranquil view of New Harmony, an important stopping point for the travelers before leaving for the west. On the morning of October 19, 1832, Prince Maximilian hired a wagon in Mount Vernon, Indiana, and set out for New Harmony, located some fifteen miles to the north. He had planned at the outset of his journey to stop at the utopian community to visit the distinguished entomologist Thomas Say, from whom Maximilian hoped to get advice concerning travel in the west. David Dreidoppel (Prince Maximilian's servant and hunting companion) accompanied the Prince while Bodmer and a recent acquaintance started out on foot. During the weeks that followed, Bodmer made numerous excursions around New Harmony and completed a number of views of the community.
Karl Bodmer's images show great versatility and technical virtuosity and give us a uniquely accomplished and detailed picture of a previously little understood (and soon to vanish) way of life. Swiss-born Bodmer was engaged by Prince Maximilian zu Wied-Neuwied (1782-1867) specifically to provide a record of his travels in North America, principally among the Plains Indians. Their travels in North America lasted from 1832 to 1834. They arrived in Boston in July 1832, traveled on to Philadelphia, where they stayed with Napoleon Bonaparte's elder brother Joseph. From here they headed west across Pennsylvania across the Alleghenies to Pittsburgh and the Ohio country, visiting all the important German settlements en route. Their most important stop on their route west was at the utopian colony of New Harmony in Indiana. The Prince spent five months there in the company of some of the countries leading scientific men, and studying all the relevant literature on backcountry America. On 24 March 1833, the party reached St. Louis, Missouri, and the start of the journey into Indian country.
David C. Hunt, "Karl Bodmer and the American Frontier," Imprint /Spring 1985, p.18.
Cf.Graff 4648; cf. Howes M443a; cf. Pilling 2521; cf. Sabin 47014; cf. Wagner-Camp 76:1.