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. "The red men seem to be exempt from one curse that is quite general in civilized life. We allude to ennui. Low spirits and despair are not their attributes. Our Indian in the sketch, finding that all the larger animals have been driven off, is glad to return home with smaller game. In default of this, he would have contentedly gone to sleep without anything;- indeed without much seeming inconvenience, he could continue his fast for a day or two. He has been tortured in his youth by the most painful contrivances to give him courage and endurance." 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.
|12/01/1982||Loan Consideration||examined for loan|
|4/18/1983||Examination||examined for loan|
|4/20/1983||Treatment||cleaned; mounted; re-housed|
- Indians of the Plains: The Watercolors of Alfred Jacob Miller. Frederic Remington Art Museum, Ogdensburg; Rockwell Museum of Western Art, Corning. 1983.
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
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