Swiss View of New Harmony, Indiana, by Johann karl Bodmer, 1832.
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Landscape watercolor on paper

Credit: Joslyn Art Museum, Omaha, Nebraska, Gift of the Enron Art Foundation, 1986

From 1814 to 1824 the Harmonists lived on the banks of the Wabash River in Indiana, where they built the town of Harmony. Plagued by the town’s isolation and poor health, the Harmonists sold the village and 30,000 acres to industrialist Robert Owens and moved back to Pennsylvania. At “New” Harmony, Owens funded a widely heralded, but short-lived experiment in socialist living. For short time, too, the town was home to Philadelphia biologists Thomas Say and Charles-Alexandre Lesueur, and a scientific center of national significance.

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