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Escape from Blackfeet
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Escape from Blackfeet


Description Conservation Exhibitions Provenance Credit
Description "Black Harris and his brother Trapper are here making their escape from the terrible Blackfeet, the bete noires of the Rocky Mountains, the word is 'suave qui peut,' and spur and whip are both in requisition. This Black Harris always created a sensation at the cap fire, being a capital raconteur, and having had as many perilous adventures as any man probably in the mountains. He was a wiry form, made up of bone and muscle, with a face apparently composed of tan leather and whip cord, finished off with a peculuar blue-black tint, as if gunpowder had been burnt into his face." 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.
Conservation
Date Description Narrative
12/01/1987Treatmentmounted; cleaned
Exhibitions
  • Alfred Jacob Miller. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1971.
  • 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.
  • The American Artist as Painter and Draftsman. The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore. 2001.
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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Period
1858-1860
Medium
watercolor on paper
(Painting & Drawing)
Accession Number
37.1940.67
Measurements
H: 9 1/8 x W: 13 3/4 in. (23.2 x 35 cm)
Geographies
  • USA (Place of Origin)
Location Within Museum
Not On View

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