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Snake Indians Shooting Elk
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Snake Indians Shooting Elk

Description 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. "Creeping with the stealthiness of a cat towards his prey, perfectly understanding the nature of the animal he has to deal with, watching his chances with great patience and perseverance, added to this his experience and subtlety, make the Indian a most successful hunter, - the game too is worth all the trouble, the Elk being of the dimensions of a large-sized mule. The meat, although somewhat coarse, is excellent when the animal is in good order." 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 [Signature] Lower right: A. Miller; [Number] 28
Credit Commissioned by William T. Walters, 1858-1860

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watercolor heightened with white on paper
(Painting & Drawing)
Accession Number
H: 11 1/2 x W: 8 15/16 in. (29.2 x 22.7 cm)
  • USA (Place of Origin)
Location Within Museum
Not On View


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