Alfred Jacob Miller and the Western Indians

June 24, 2006–September 10, 2006

In 1837, Baltimore painter Alfred Jacob Miller (1810-74) was hired by Captain William Drummond Stewart, an eccentric Scottish adventurer, to journey to the animal fur-traders’ rendezvous in the Green River Valley (in what is now western Wyoming) and to document the trip in paintings. Organized by the American Fur Company, the rendezvous provided mountain men and Native Americans with an opportunity to come together to exchange their furs for supplies that would sustain them through the winter. Represented at the gathering were members of the Sioux, Bannock, Mandan, Crow, Snake, Pend Oreilles, Nez Percé, Cheyenne, and Delaware tribes. Miller supported himself for the rest of his career by painting oils and watercolors based on his “trail sketches,” 200 of which were commissioned by William T. Walters.