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Buffalo Drinking and Bathing at Night
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Buffalo Drinking and Bathing at Night

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. "The scene of the sketch is on the Platte," wrote Miller, "at night the Buffalo come to the River banks in legions, to quench thirst and refresh themselves by swimming." Miller, like all other artists to visit the West, was amazed at the buffaloes and recorded many details of their activities: "Two things are essential to the well-being and comfort of this animal- he must have his water bath, which he usually takes at night, and his earth bath, with which he solaces himself during the day." 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
8/19/1981Examinationexamined for condition
8/26/1981Treatmentcleaned; mounted
5/09/1984Loan Considerationexamined for loan
10/01/1992Treatmentstabilized; mounted; re-housed
  • 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.
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
H: 8 11/16 x W: 13 9/16 in. (22 x 34.5 cm)
  • USA (Place of Origin)
  • USA, Platte (Place Depicted)
Location Within Museum
Not On View


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