154 Summit Rd. Florham Park, NJ 07932 , United States Call Seller 973.966.9767


Julius Bien Peninsula of Cape May 1883-1889

$ 2,400
  • Description
    JULIUS BIEN (1826-1909)
    Bien Atlas of New Jersey.
    Geological Survey of New Jersey.
    New York, 1883 - 1889
    17 maps. 34” x 25” Paper Size.

    A lithographer and map engraver, Bien arrived in the United States in 1849. Born in Naumburg, Germany, he was schooled at the Academy of Fine Arts in Kassel and at the Stadel Art Institute in Frankfurt am Main. He participated in the political upheavals of 1848 and was forced to leave his country after the movement was crushed becoming one of the many talented German "forty-eighters" to begin life anew in America.

    From a tiny print shop in New York City, Bien built a hugely successful business. He received numerous awards for the maps he engraved for the Pacific Railroad surveys, for several decennial census reports and for many US Geological Survey atlases and military field maps. He was also the first president of the National Lithographers' Association.

    Geological atlases were elemental in the development of states in both population and commerce. Here is where Bien shines with comprehensive understanding of science and his unparelled technique in printing. Among the most collectible of historic maps, these surveys provided landmark research in building a nation.

    Bien's second magnum opus was his chromolithographic edition of John James Audubon's The Birds of America. Through the new medium of chromolithography Bien was commissioned both to reproduce the quality of Havell's aquatints and to capture the subtlety of Audubon's colors. The ambitious project was never completed. Some historians blame the Civil War while other suggest financial cheating, but probably it was the death of Audubon that terminated Bien's work.

    For more than forty years following the Audubon folio, Bien continued to work in mapmaking, engraving and photolithography. His papers—now scattered throughout the National Archives—show a particularly strong commitment to government jobs. “However, Bien will always be remembered chiefly as the first great scientific cartographer in the United States. Soon after he arrived in this country he became interested in improving the quality of maps, and thanks to President Pierce and his administration, he was soon making maps of the new surveys…all of high quality, for use by state governments and the federal government.” – Peters.

    Reference: Harry Peters, America on Stone: The Other Printmakers to the American People, pp. 93-94.
  • More Information
    Period: 19th Century
    Materials: Lithograph.
    Condition: Excellent. Clean, crisp image. Framed to museum specifications using archival matting, backing, hinging. Glazed with ultra-violet filtering Plexiglas.
    Creation Date: 1883-1889
    Styles / Movements: Traditional
    Dealer Reference #: 2015 04-01-15 / 08=23=20
    Incollect Reference #: 390710
  • Dimensions
    W. 33.5 in; H. 43.75 in;
    W. 85.09 cm; H. 111.13 cm;
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