Catherwood, Frederick.

Alternative names
Birth 1799-02-27
Death 1854-09-27

Biographical notes:

Catherwood, with John Lloyd Stephens, traveled to Central America October 1839-July 1840 and again from the autumn of 1841 through June 1842. Catherwood completed this work (part of a survey of Mayan civilization) during the second expedition when he visited Kabah. The expeditions' fruit included two books, Incident of travel in Central America : Chiapas and the Yucatan (1841) and Incidents of travel in the Yucatan (1843). Catherwood also published a smaller work in 1844, Views of ancient monuments of Central America : Chiapas and the Yucatan. Many of the original drawings from the expeditions were destroyed in a fire in July 1842.

From the description of [Study of a Mayan monument] [graphic] / [Frederick Catherwood]. ca. 1841. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 166246584

Frederick Catherwood studied architecture at the Royal Academy, and later in Rome. He was also a painter and illustrator, but made his name as an architectural draughtsman, especially of Central American antiquities. He accompanied American archaeologist John Lloyd Stephens on two trips to Mexico, and, using both camera lucida and daguerreotype techniques, took many images of sites. From these experiences, he published two books of engravings and an album of lithographs, showing Mayan architecture and the jungle landscape.

From the description of Frederick Catherwood letter to My dear sir, 1843 Sept. 19. (Pennsylvania State University Libraries). WorldCat record id: 66267253

Historical and panoramic painter, New York City.

Catherwood (1799-1854) was raised in England. He spent 8 years travelling in Italy, Greece, and the Near East before returning. In 1836 he moved to New York where he worked as an architect and established his own panorama rotunda. He spent several years exploring Mexico and Central America and supervised construction of the first railroad in South America. He later served as construction engineer on the first California railroad. He was reported missing at sea, Sept. 1854, in the first steamship to sink after a collision at sea.

From the description of Account book, 1838 Nov.-1841 Oct. (New York University, Group Batchload). WorldCat record id: 58661087


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Ark ID:


  • Architects--19th century--Correspondence
  • Exhibitions
  • Artists--19th century--Correspondence
  • Mayas--Antiquities--Pictorial works
  • Painting, American
  • Maya sculpture--Pictorial works
  • Panoramas


  • Painters (artists)


  • New York (State)--New York (as recorded)
  • Great Britain (as recorded)
  • Mexico--Kabah Site (as recorded)