Columbia River Plateau, USA
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"The sketch represents 'our mess' at the morning meal;- Jean whi is pouring out coffee, seems to our hungry eyes more graceful than Hebe disposing Nectar, although he is more shapeless than a log of wood. The plate service of the table is of capital tin ware, partout, and the etiquette rigid in some particulars;- for instance, nothing in the shape of a fork must be used. With a 'Bowie' you separate a large rib from the mass before you, hold firmly to the smaller end, and your outrageous appetite teaches all the rest. The usual mode of sitting is cross-legged like a Turk. Indians are looking on patiently, in order to be ready for the 2nd table." 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.
(Released under the GNU Free Documentation License)
Medium: watercolor on paper.
Credit line: Commissioned by William T. Walters, 1858-1860.
For full details please visit the collection website.