Rudolf F. Kurz
(1818 - 1871)
Rudolf F. Kurz was a Swiss artist, born in Bern in 1818. He came to the United States for a period of time, finding work and adventure on the American frontier. He found his way to the Fort Union fur trading post on the Upper Missouri and worked there from 1851-52 as a clerk. While at the post, Kurz became a kind of social chronicler of life there, which included interaction with local Indian tribes. He made numerous sketches, drawings, paintings, and even a journal, which later provided the images needed for a modern historical reconstruction of the site. Kurz returned to spend the rest of his life in Bern, Switzerland, where he died in 1871.