We hope you enjoy the short, five-minute video (the next stop, iScout 172), which calls your attention to aspects of Albert Bierstadt’s paintings, The Buffalo Trail, The Buffalo Trail: Impending Storm, and Western Kansas.
The video explores possible messages and meanings in Bierstadt’s depictions of bison in the American West.
As an academically trained painter working in the 19th century, Albert Bierstadt often used metaphors—or, implied, sometimes hidden meanings—in his art. In these three paintings, he may have employed particular colors and subjects to convey his sentiments.
Together, the paintings present the bison’s story from its high point to the species’ near extermination.
The three paintings are:
- Albert Bierstadt (American, born Germany, 1830–1902). THE BUFFALO TRAIL, 1867. Oil on canvas, 31.875 x 48 inches. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Massachusetts. Gift of Martha C. Karolik for the M. and M. Karolik Collection of American Paintings, 1815–1865. 47.1268
- Albert Bierstadt (1830–1902). BUFFALO TRAIL: THE IMPENDING STORM, 1869. Oil on canvas, 29 x 49 inches. Corcoran Collection, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., 2014.79.3
- Albert Bierstadt (1830–1902). WESTERN KANSAS, 1875. Oil on canvas, 28 x 39 1/2 inches. Private collection.