Description "American sculptors travel thousands of miles to study Greek statues in the Vatican at Rome, seemingly unaware that in their own country there exists a race of men equal in form and grace (if not superior) to the finest beau ideal ever dreamed of by the Greeks. And it does seem a little extraordinary that up to this time (as far as I am aware) not a single sculptor has thought it worth his while to make a journey among these Indians, who are now sojourning on the Western side of the Rocky mountains, and are rapidly passing away. Most unquestionably, that sculptor who travels here,- and models fro what he sees (supposing him to have equal power and genius), will far excel any other who merely depends upon his own conception of what it ought to be. The subject of the sketch is an Indian's home;- he has planted his lodge on the borders of a small stream, screened from the prairie by hills in the middle distance, near which are some of his party." A.J. Miller, extracted from "The West of Alfred Jacob Miller" (1837). In July 1858 William T. Walters commissioned 200 watercolors at twelve dollars apiece from Baltimore born artist Alfred Jacob Miller. These paintings were each accompanied by a descriptive text, and were delivered in installments over the next twenty-one months and ultimately were bound in three albums. Transcriptions of field-sketches drawn during the 1837 expedition that Miller had undertaken to the annual fur-trader's rendezvous in the Green River Valley (in what is now western Wyoming), these watercolors are a unique record of the closing years of the western fur trade.
- Undercover Stories in Art. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1980.
- Alfred Jacob Miller: Maryland and the West. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore; Washington College, Chestertown; Frostburg State University, Frostburg; Jewish Community Center of Greater Washington, Rockville. 1988.
- The American Artist as Painter and Draftsman. The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore. 2001.
Provenance William T. Walters, Baltimore, 1858-1860, by commission; Henry Walters, Baltimore, 1894, by inheritance; Walters Art Museum, 1931, by bequest.
Inscriptions [Signature] Lower right: Miller; [Number] Lower right: No. 35
Credit Commissioned by William T. Walters, 1858-1860
Download Image Add to Collection Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Creative Commons License