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Pawnee Indians Migrating
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Pawnee Indians Migrating

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. 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. "When the grass in camp is eaten up by the animals, & the Buffalo all driven off by repeated foays amongst them, the Indian must then per force break up his encampment. His natural indolence is averse to the movement, but stern necessity that rules her childrem with an iron rod drives him into the measure;- nothing short of an Indian yell, that dreadful gage to battle (once heard, never to be forgotten), can rouse him to his wonted activity. Now, however, he must leave his dolce far niente, his solacing campfire, pack up his moveables and go." 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
3/09/1989Loan Considerationexamined for loan
  • 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.
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
9 7/16 x 12 3/16 in. (24 x 31 cm)
  • USA (Place of Origin)
Location Within Museum
Not On View


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