Hölzlhuber’s America: An Austrian Artist’s Depiction of Antebellum Travel in Wisconsin and Beyond, 1856-1860

Hölzlhuber’s America: An Austrian Artist’s Depiction of Antebellum Travel in Wisconsin and Beyond, 1856-1860

By Janine Yorimoto Boldt and Kristina E. Poznan

When Franz Hölzlhuber arrived in the United States from Austria in 1856, the United States was in deep debate over the future of slavery in its western territories and actively engaged in Native removal. During Hölzlhuber’s four years in America, war was raging in “Bleeding” Kansas, John Brown led a raid on the federal arsenal at Harpers Ferry, and the Pony Express connected Missouri and Sacramento, California. Hölzlhuber’s path crisscrossed with many of these developments, which he recorded in sketches at the time, subsequently painted, and commented on over two decades later when exhibiting his American art back in Austria.

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