The Pearl of Venice Now on View
Joslyn's recently conserved The Pearl of Venice is now on view in the Memorial Building's Merriam Gallery (gallery 8) for the first time since the completion of the painting's conservation.

Over the years, the varnish layer - a clear coating applied to intensify and protect the painting's surface - had darkened and discolored. As a result, the canvas' once-lustrous glow had dulled. In the summer of 2014, the conservation process began in the galleries, were visitors where able to chart paintings conservator Kenneth Bé's progress as the light and color returned to Moran's painting.

What's Pictured: (above, post-conservation; below, pre-conservation) Thomas Moran (American, born England, 1837–1926), The Pearl of Venice, 1899, oil on canvas, 25 1/8 x 45 1/8 inches, Gift of Mary McArthur Holland, Betty McArthur Heller, and Mickey McArthur, 1982.6.

Amenirdas I
is also back on view outside of the Medieval and Renaissance Gallery (gallery 1) after being on loan to the exhibit When the Greeks Ruled Egypt at the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World in New York, October 8, 2014-January 4, 2015.

What's Pictured:
(left) Artist Unknown (Egyptian, Late Period, 8th century B.C.), Amenirdas I, the Divine Consort, ca. 700 B.C., XXV Dynasty, granite, 25 ¼ in. high, Museum Purchase, 1953.80.

The Maximilian Journals

Between 1832-34, the explorer and naturalist Prince Alexander Philipp Maximilian of Wied-Neuwied, Germany, embarked on a voyage into the furthest reaches of the American Interior. Accompanied by the Swiss artist Karl Bodmer, Maximilian set forth from St. Louis in April 1833 on a 2,500 mile journey by steamship and keelboat up the Missouri River, traveling as far as Fort McKenzie, Montana. Wintering at the Mandan village near Fort Clark, they returned downriver the following spring, having spent over a year amongst the tribes of the Upper Missouri. The watercolors that Bodmer produced on this journey remain one of the most perceptive and compelling visual accounts of the West ever created. Meanwhile, his patron Maximilian was equally hard at work on a journal documenting his scientific and anthropologic observations. Few historical chronicles are as informative and eloquent, describing the topography, Native peoples, natural history, and the burgeoning fur trade of the High Plains. Today, Maximilian’s journals are a centerpiece of the Joslyn collection, accompanied by his collection of over 350 watercolors and drawings by Karl Bodmer. 

Joslyn Art Museum recently announced the milestone publication of the third and final volume of the English translation of The North American Journals of Prince Maximilian of Wied, one of the most important documents of the nineteenth-century American West. Volumes 1 and 2 were published in 2008 and 2010 respectively. In 2008, Volume 1 was named the "Outstanding Nonfiction Book" of the year by National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum. In the fall of 2011, Volume 1 received the Western History Association’s Dwight L. Smith Award, a biennial award recognizing outstanding bibliographic or research work. Earlier in 2011, Volumes 1 and 2 were reviewed by Stuart Ferguson of The Wall Street Journal, who called the works a "magnificent chronicle."

The North American Journals of Prince Maximilian of Wied — Volume 1: May 1832–April 1833;
Volume 2: April–September 1833; and Volume 3: September 1833–August 1834 are available in Joslyn Art Museum’s Hitchcock Museum Shop for $85 per volume. The Journals are edited by Stephen S. Witte and Marsha V. Gallagher. Volumes 1 and 2 are translated by William J. Orr, Paul Schach, and Dieter Karch with forewords by John Wilson. Volume 3 is translated by Dieter Karch with a foreword by Joslyn’s Executive Director and CEO Jack Becker.

Support for the Maximilian Journals Project has come from many sources. Robert Daugherty funded the completion of the translation in 2003. The Bodmer Society, Charles W. Durham, and Marlene and J. Joe Ricketts made timely contributions to support initial editing and production costs. Dorothy and Stanley M. Truhlsen, Arader Galleries, Ann and Steve Berzin, Judy and Terry Haney, Susan and Michael Lebens, Pinnacle Bank, and Phyllis and Del Toebben provided additional support. Joslyn was awarded a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the University of Oklahoma Press received funding from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission. Ultimately, however, it has been the extremely generous gifts of Howard L. and Rhonda A. Hawks and The Hawks Foundation that have made this important publication possible.

The Scope of Joslyn's Collections

Eugene Kingman (far right), the second director of Joslyn Art Museum (1947–1969), oversees the delivery of art at the north door of the Memorial building. Photo ca. 1962.

For a brief synopsis of the Museum's collections,
click here.