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Interior of Fort Laramie
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Interior of Fort Laramie

Description Conservation Exhibitions Provenance Inscription 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. "This fort was built by Robert Campbell who named it Fort William in honor of his friend and partner Wm. Sublette. These gentlemen were the earliest pioneers after Messors Lewis and Clarke, and had many battles with the Indians."A.J. Miller, extracted from "The West of Alfred Jacob Miller" (1837). In the spring of 1837, Miller accompanied the Scottish adventurer Captain William Drummond Stewart (died 1871) to the fur traders' rendezvous held that year on the Green River in western Wyoming. At these gatherings trappers and Indians sold their furs and replenished supplies for the following winter. Miller subsequently used the sketches drawn on the trail as the basis for oil paintings for Stewart's ancestral estate, Murthly Castle in Perthshire, Scotland. After returning to Baltimore in 1842, he continued to replicate his sketches in oils and watercolors for American clients. In this scene Miller has provided the only visual record of the first Fort Laramie, erected in 1834. Located in eastern Wyoming, the fort marked the beginning of what would later become the Oregon Trail, the route that was taken by settlers moving west.
Date Description Narrative
4/08/1980Treatmentcleaned; mounted
8/26/1981Treatmentmounted; re-housed
12/01/1987Treatmentmounted; re-housed
2/21/1989Loan Considerationexamined for loan
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Rendezvous to Roundup: The First 100 Years of Art in Wyoming. Buffalo Bill Historical Center, Cody. 1990.
Provenance William T. Walters, Baltimore, 1858-1860, by commission; Henry Walters, Baltimore, 1894, by inheritance; Walters Art Museum, 1931, by bequest.
Inscriptions [Signature] Lower left: AJMiller; [Inscription] 12
Credit Commissioned by William T. Walters, 1858-1860

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watercolor on paper
(Painting & Drawing)
Accession Number
11 5/8 x 14 3/16 in. (29.5 x 36 cm)
Location Within Museum
Not On View


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