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Hunting Buffalo
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Hunting Buffalo

Description Conservation Exhibitions Provenance Credit
Description Extracts from Alfred Jacob Miller’s original text, which accompanied his images of Native Americans, shaped how Miller’s contemporaries viewed the watercolors, and reveal the racism and sexism embedded in 19th-century exploration and colonization of the western part of what is today the United States. It is true that various Plains Indians would occasionally chase buffalo over a small cliff, but Miller probably never saw this scene and therefore exaggerated it a bit. The Indians, when they found a suitable bluff, would conceal themselves behind the rocks with hides. When the herd would start to move towards the bluff, the Indians would jump up from behind their rocks, shouting and waving the hides, keeping the buffalo moving toward the cliff. In later versions of this picture, Miller exaggerated the cliff even more. Had the Indians driven buffalo over such precipices, the meat would have been too badly smashed to eat and the bones would have been broken.
Date Description Narrative
12/28/1976Treatmentmounted; re-housed
12/28/1976Examinationexamined for loan
9/25/1989Loan Considerationexamined for loan
  • Alfred Jacob Miller: An Artist on the Oregon Trail. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore; Amon Carter Museum, Fort Worth; Buffalo Bill Historical Center, Cody. 1981-1982.
  • 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
8 5/16 x 14 3/16 in. (21.1 x 36 cm)
  • USA (Place of Origin)
Location Within Museum
Not On View


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