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Scene at "Rendezvous"

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. "A large body of Indians, Traders, and Trappers are here congregated, and the view seen from the bluff is pleasing and animated. In the middle distance a race is being run, the horses in all cases running in a direct line and never in a circle as with us. The bets pending on the result are extraordinary in character and diversity, and the Indians are passionately fond of this species of gambling. If an Indian happes to lose all,- he will stake the dress he wears against 3 or 4 ounces of vermillion, and if you win can demand it at once, leaving him almost in the condition of Adam before the fall. The Company's tent is besieged on such occasions. No matter who lose, they are sure to win. Ball playing with bandys and other games are largely indulged in, and the Company make it a point to encourage the Indians in these sports to divert their minds form mischief. White Lodges ranging form 12 to 16 ft. in height are scattered at random over the plain and reach almost to the foot of the distant mountains." 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
3/10/1993Treatmentstabilized; mounted; rehoused
4/29/1997Loan 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 1/16 x 15 1/2 in. (23 x 39.4 cm)
  • USA (Place of Origin)
Location Within Museum
Not On View


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