M: A feather in the hair, colourfully embroidered clothing – at first glance, you might think you’re looking at a typical painting of a Native American. It’s only when you study it more closely that you recognise the finer points, and the accuracy of the image, which is far removed from superficial ethnic kitsch.
F: We’re proud to be able to show you this work by a major artist who hailed from our city. It’s called "Iron Horn", and the artist is Carl "Charles" Wimar.
M: Let’s start with a few words about his life: Carl Wimar was born in Siegburg in 1828. At the age of 15, he emigrated to St. Louis in the US along with his family. In 1852, he returned to Germany and studied painting at the Royal Prussian Academy of Art in Düsseldorf. At that point, he was already painting pictures of conflicts between US settlers and Native Americans.
F: It seems his parents, who lived in the US state of Missouri, sent him Native American clothing and other items so that he could depict them as faithfully as possible.
M: Wimar returned to St. Louis in 1856. He went on several expeditions along the Missouri, Mississippi and Yellowstone Rivers, during which he painted the settlement of the West and portrayed its indigenous peoples. The artist died of tuberculosis in St. Louis in 1862.
F: His paintings are on show at the City Art Museum in St. Louis. Even now, his work is of major importance, especially due to his ethnographic interest in Native Americans.
M: Now – if you’re interested in modern art, please follow the corridor to the left. That will take you to our exhibition of works by contemporary artists.
F: But first of all, let’s take a detour into the room devoted to our exhibition on industrial history.
Foto: © Dagmar Trüpschuch