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Indian Courtship
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Indian Courtship

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. "The North American Indian carries his wonderful stoicism into every transaction of his life,- even the tender subject of selecting a helpmate does not disturb his tranquility - neither is he affected with the slightest romance in regard to the subject. He brings his presents and casts them at the feet of his bronzed favorite, ostensibly for her; but intended for the optics of the father,- these consist of cloths of brilliant colors, beaver skins, beads, trinkets &c." 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.
  • Sentimental Journey: The Art of Alfred Jacob Miller. Amon Carter Museum, Fort Worth; Joslyn Art Museum, Omaha. 2008-2009.
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
Credit Commissioned by William T. Walters, 1858-1860

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watercolor on paper
(Painting & Drawing)
Accession Number
9 x 11 7/16 in. (22.9 x 29.1 cm)
Location Within Museum
Not On View


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