Results 1 2995
599 Previous Next

Crossing the Divide
Additional Views Explore Object
Creative Commons License

Crossing the Divide


Description Conservation Exhibitions Provenance Inscription Credit
Description South Pass, or the Continental Divide, was the gateway to Oregon and California. The southwestern desert was not yet as fully explored as the Midwest, and so the trail along the Platte became the favored route. Discovered in 1812, the pass remained unknown to Anglo-Americans until a group of Crow Indians told Jedediah Smith and Thomas Fitzpatrick about it in 1824. After William H. Ashley started the rendezvous system in 1825, Fitzpatrick and others used South Pass as the entrance to the best beaver country in the mountains. Here Miller pictures the frenzy that possessed the men as they neared the fresh water. The Indians, watching in contempt, Miller suggested, had much the same attitude as did Captain Stewart, who would not run his horse for the water but walked casually along as if he did not feel the same thirst that possessed the men. 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.
Conservation
Date Description Narrative
8/19/1981Examinationexamined for condition
8/26/1981Treatmentcleaned; re-housed; mounted
Exhibitions
  • 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.
Provenance William T. Walters, Baltimore, 1858-1860, by commission; Henry Walters, Baltimore, 1894, by inheritance; Walters Art Museum, 1931, by bequest.
Inscriptions [Monogram] Lower left: AJMiller
Credit Commissioned by William T. Walters, 1858-1860

Download Image Add to Collection Creative Commons License

Period
1858-1860
Medium
watercolor on paper
(Painting & Drawing)
Accession Number
37.1940.132
Measurements
H: 9 x W: 14 3/16 in. (22.8 x 36 cm)
Geographies
  • USA (Place of Origin)
  • USA, Continental Divide (Place Depicted)
Location Within Museum
Not On View

Tags


    Thumbnail: Crossing the Divide Thumbnail: Crossing the Divide Thumbnail: Crossing the Divide
    Zoom Out Zoom In Back to Details  
    Full Size: Crossing the Divide