Thursday, August 25, 2011

Adolf Hoeffler's Pencil Sketches of 1852 Wisconsin

Adolf Hoeffler's Pencil Sketches of 1852 Wisconsin at the WHS. "...This compelling collection of 16 pencil sketches depicting the early settlement landscape of southern Wisconsin is the work of German-born artist Adolf Hoeffler, who painted, drew and etched German, Italian and American landscapes. He made these detailed and lovely sketches in 1852. They provide a glimpse of the southern Wisconsin oak savannah that was then the most common landscape but today is nearly nonexistent due to human settlement, agriculture and fire suppression.
Depictions in the drawings include Madison, the Milwaukee harbor, Arena, Cross Plains, Lake Kegonsa, Giles Court House, and Spirit (or Devil's) Lake. There are also depictions of the Mississippi River and Fort Snelling, Minnesota. The detailed pencil drawings usually show a sweeping expanse of landscape with the human-built environment diminutively enfolded within it but they also include closer studies of oak trees in the savannah setting. These vivid and compelling landscapes invite the viewer to imagine stepping into the majestic scenery of the past."


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