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 incident of the sketch is an every-day ocurrence. Parties of from 2 to 4 men start out every morning after breakfast in different directions to supply porvisions for the camp;- having been unsuccessful on the prairie, they have come down to the backs of the River Eau Sucre;- and in default of Buffalo, are now ready to bag anything that offers;- Mountain Pheasant, Hare, Geese, Ducks, and 'such smaller deer' are welcome. The Rocky Mountain pheasant is totally unknown in the States,- being nearly as large as a full grown turkey;- feeding principally on Artemesia gave a wild and rather bitter taste to its flesh. The Hare of this part of the country is also sui generis, and in taste not perceptibly different from rabbit,- A large tortoise was occasionally captured, altogether different from any we had before seen. Its outside shell (top and bottom) was soft." 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.
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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