Artist Karl Bodmer painted landscapes and portraits as he accompanied Prince Maximilian zu Wied on his expedition across the American West from 1832 to 1834. His paintings were first published in 1843 in zu Wied’s chronicle of the journey. Since that publication, Bodmer’s aquatints have remained a major source of information regarding Plains Indian culture. They were and continue to be instrumental in creating romantic perceptions and misconceptions about these peoples. The Rare Books Division holds a copy of the first edition of zu Weid’s chronicle. A complete set of our original aquatints may be viewed in digital format.
‘”1812: A Nation Emerges,” a bicentennial exhibition organized by the National Portrait Gallery, commemorates a crucial moment in American history.
Through the gathering of stunning portraits by masters such as Gilbert Stuart, and unique objects such as a red velvet dress that belonged to Dolley Madison and the Treaty of Ghent that ended the war, “1812” presents a spectacular history of the conflict and its effects through the lives of extraordinary people.
The war of 1812 may have been a small war, but it had great consequences for our nation.’