Private collection, Vienna.
Schweitzer Gallery, New York.
Christie's, New York, 12 March 1992.
Acquired by the present owner from the above.
The Property of a Private Collector
In 1856 an adventurous young Austrian, Franz Holzlhuber, set off on the immigrant ship "Tuisco" to make his fortune as a teacher of drawing and leader of an orchestra in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The young explorer's resulting sketches of the local scene led to assignments from various illustrated periodicals and, as a roving correspondent for Harper's Monthly, Hölzlhuber traveled the prairie states as far north as Minnesota and as far west as Texas. During his five years in America, Hölzlhuber sketched and painted the many novel sights he observed, including wagon trains, buffalo herds, Native American tribal practices, and the building of railroads. The artist returned to Vienna in 1860 having created a large series of drawings that captured the natural wonders of the frontier as well as the burgeoning culture and industry of the new world.
The present selection of eighteen watercolors by Franz Hölzlhuber (Lots 19-23) offers a unique view of bygone frontier days: a blend of visual journalism, a romantic love of the exotic, and most importantly, an earnest desire to share with the rest of the world, and perhaps in particular his Austrian countrymen, the wonders of this untamed new land.