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Approaching Buffalo
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Approaching Buffalo

Description Conservation Provenance Inscription Credit
Description Extracts from Alfred Jacob Miller’s original text, which accompanied his images of Native Americans, are included below for reference. "This mode of killing Buffalo is often resorted to, and with attention to certain rules very successfully. The hunters having descried the animals at a distance decided whether it is most prudent to run or approach them. If the latter, as in teh present case, they ascertain how the wind is. If from the buffalo, they immediately commence their approach. If from themselves, they immediately start off making a wide circuit to the other side of the herd. The reason of this is that the animal's keenness of scent is most acute, and will take the alarm at the distance of a mile or more; while his eyesight is obstruced with the great mass of hair covering his head." 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
Provenance William T. Walters, Baltimore, 1858-1860, by commission; Henry Walters, Baltimore, 1894, by inheritance; Walters Art Museum, 1931, by bequest.
Inscriptions [Monogram] Lower center: AJMiller
Credit Commissioned by William T. Walters, 1858-1860

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watercolor on paper
(Painting & Drawing)
Accession Number
9 1/2 x 12 1/16 in. (24.1 x 30.6 cm)
  • USA (Place of Origin)
Location Within Museum
Not On View


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