Lukas Vischer (collector)

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Lukas Vischer (1780-1840) was an amateur artist, traveler, and collector from Basel, Switzerland. During a nine-year residence in Mexico he assembled a notable collection of ancient Mexican sculptures and ceramics. Vischer's collection eventually formed a significant part of the holdings of the Museum of Cultures Basel. It has been called one of the best European collections of pre-Columbian or Mesoamerican artifacts.

Before settling in Mexico, Vischer traveled for several years in the United States and Canada, keeping a diary and sketchbook. His 1824 portraits of Creek Indians have been of particular interest to scholars. Selections from Vischer's diary, concerning visits to Washington, D.C.[1] and the Creek Indians,[2] have been translated into English.


  1. ^ Feest, Christian F. (1976). "Lukas Vischer in the District of Columbia, 1825". Records of the Columbia Historical Society, Washington, D.C. 49. pp. 78–110.
  2. ^ Collins, Robert P. (October 2006). "A Swiss traveler in the Creek Nation: the diary of Lukas Vischer, March 1824". Alabama Review. 59 (4). pp. 243–84.
  • Anders, Ferdinand; Margarete Pfister-Burkhalter; Christian F. Feest (1967). Lukas Vischer (1780-1840), Künstler, Reisender, Sammler: Ein Beitrag zur Ethnographie der Vereinigten Staaten von Amerika sowie zur Archäologie und Volkskunde Mexikos. Hanover: Kommissionsverlag Münstermann-Druck. OCLC 7070705.
  • Baer, Gerhard (1990). Altmexikanische Skulpturen der Sammlung Lukas Vischer, Museum für Völkerkunde Basel. Basel: Wepf. ISBN 3-85977-094-2.
  • Bankmann, Ulf; Gerhard Baer (1996). Ancient Mexican Ceramics from the Lukas Vischer Collection, Ethnographic Museum Basel. Basel: Friedrich Reinhardt. ISBN 3-7245-0909-X.