Remembering John Caspar Wild

Sep 25, 2014

A little-known, but important artist for the Quad Cities, will be remembered this weekend. A grave marker will be dedicated in the Davenport City Cemetery for John Caspar Wild - he painted the earliest known image of Davenport in 1844, but until now has had just an unmarked grave.

Western Illinois University art professor, Bruce Walters, says Wild was born in Switzerland, spent time in Paris, and came to America in 1832. He earned his living selling copies of his paintings of major cities such as Philadelphia and Saint Louis.Wild came to Davenport in 1844, and his painting pre-dates the earliest photographs of the city by about ten years.

Walters says Wild also painted Dubuque, Muscatine, Moline, and Galena, and died here in 1846. 

The dedication of his grave marker at Davenport City Cemetery will be held Sunday from 1 to 3 pm, including the display of two of his paintings, and a presentation on the artist by Walters.