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Group of Indian Mother and Children
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Group of Indian Mother and Children

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. "The sketch represents a Dacotah Mother fondling a papoose, with a little dusky imp near her in the shape of a son. To the right is a temporary lodge of twigs or osier bent, and the ends firmly fixed into the ground; pieces transversed are secured to these, and over this frame is stretched blankets, buffalo robes, or anything in fact that will answer for a covering; as it is only 4 feet in height, the occupant can only creep in and lie down... In the middle distance is an Indian preparing dried meat. The meat is first cut into thin slices, laid on a frame over the fire and smoked, packed into bundles, and laid by for scarcity in provender, or for winter use." 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
1/25/1979Treatmentexamined for exhibition
  • 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.
  • Alfred Jacob Miller and the Western Indians. The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore. 2006.
  • Sentimental Journey: The Art of Alfred Jacob Miller. Amon Carter Museum, Fort Worth; Joslyn Art Museum, Omaha. 2008-2009.
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 and gouache on paper
(Painting & Drawing)
Accession Number
H: 9 1/4 x W: 8 1/4 in. (23.5 x 21 cm)
Location Within Museum
Not On View


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