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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. "About 22 years of age, son of the Chief Ma-wo-ma. This Indian was an admirable specimen of the Snakes. His form, - straight as an arrow, and a carriage of natural grace, - that no dancing master could impart. It was impossible to look at him without admiration. ... His bearing was that of a prince - courageous and self-reliant." 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.
  • Alfred Jacob Miller and the Western Indians. The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore. 2006.
  • From Rye to Raphael: The Walters Story. The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore. 2014-2016.
Provenance Commissioned by William T. Walters, Baltimore, 1858-1860; inherited by Henry Walters, Baltimore, 1894; by bequest to Walters Art Museum, 1931.
Inscriptions [Monogram] Lower right: AJMiller; [Number] Lower right: 45
Credit Commissioned by William T. Walters, 1858-1860

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watercolor heightened with white on paper
(Painting & Drawing)
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H: 11 1/4 x W: 8 13/16 in. (28.6 x 22.4 cm)
  • USA (Place of Origin)
Location Within Museum
Not On View


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