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Preparing for a Buffalo Hunt
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Preparing for a Buffalo Hunt

Description Exhibitions Provenance Inscription Credit
Description Extracts from Alfred Jacob Miller’s original text, which accompanied his images of Native Americans, are included below for reference. These words, which shaped how Miller’s contemporaries viewed the watercolors, reveal the racism and sexism embedded in 19th-century exploration and colonization of the western part of what is today the United States. "Auguste has ready the Captain's horse, who is giving some directions to Antoine (a Canadian half-bred), his prime hunter to the camp: While in London, the Captain had purchased 3 'Joe Mantons' at about 40 guineas each; these guns were famous in their day for shooting point blank, or as the Trappers style it, 'plum centre,' and in the hands of a true marksman like Antoine, the Buffaloes had to 'go under.'" A.J. Miller, extracted from "The West of Alfred Jacob Miller" (1837). The Captain referred to here is the Scottish nobleman, William Drummond Stewart. Antoine is Antoine Clement, his companion and, later, butler. 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.
  • Alfred Jacob Miller: Watercolors and Drawings. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1984.
Provenance William T. Walters, Baltimore, 1858-1860, by commission; Henry Walters, Baltimore, 1894, by inheritance; Walters Art Museum, 1931, by bequest.
Inscriptions [Signature] Lower left: Miller; [Number] 10
Credit Commissioned by William T. Walters, 1858-1860

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wash heightened with white on paper
(Painting & Drawing)
Accession Number
H: 12 5/16 x W: 9 1/2 in. (31.3 x 24.1 cm)
  • USA (Place of Origin)
Location Within Museum
Not On View


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