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Wind River Chain
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Wind River Chain

Description Conservation Exhibitions Provenance Credit
Description Extracts from Alfred Jacob Miller’s original text, which accompanied his images of Native Americans, are included below for reference. "The scene in the sketch presents something of a bird's eye view of the great chain of Wind River Mountains, throwing up their huge heads against a warm evening sky, their lofty pinnacles crested with snow and reflecting light with the brilliancy of burnished silver;- Across the green plateau to the right, the Caravan is seen winding its slow length along. In front of this, wild and rough rocks covered with a primeval growth of hemlocks, firs, and pines jut out into the river that is sweeping by, fed by the melting snows of the mountians. In the immediate foreground some Trappers are galloping to join a party who are on the extreme end of the bluff, looking at the 'promised land' which forms their mountian home; for at the base of these, they expect to meet large bands of their brother Trappers with whom they promise themselves a grand carouse and drinking bout;- in order to repay themselves for the abstinence they are compelled to observe in a military and well-governed camp." 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.
Date Description Narrative
3/02/1982Loan Considerationexamined for loan
3/01/1983Treatmentmounted; re-housed
  • The Rocky Mountains: A Vision for Artists in the Nineteenth Century. Buffalo Bill Historical Center, Cody. 1983.
  • American West: Out of Myth into Reality. Mississippi Museum of Art, Jackson; Terra Museum of American Art, Chicago; Toledo Museum of Art, Toledo. 2000-2001.
Provenance William T. Walters, Baltimore, 1858-1860, by commission; Henry Walters, Baltimore, 1894, by inheritance; Walters Art Museum, 1931, by bequest.
Credit Commissioned by William T. Walters, 1858-1860

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watercolor on paper
(Painting & Drawing)
Accession Number
8 9/16 x 12 7/16 in. (21.8 x 31.6 cm)
  • USA (Place of Origin)
Location Within Museum
Not On View


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