Indian Women: Swimming
Alfred Jacob Miller
From the collection
"Whenever the Indians encamp on a favorable stream of water in the Spring and Summer months. The Indian women (when their taks are finished or domestic duties attended to) set off in search of a shady retired locality, and engage themselves in diving, swimming, and gambolling in the water. Of this they are remarkably fond and are not at all discomposed by your approaching thier retreat and looking on;- so far from it, that it only seems to produce an emulation among the experts as to whom shall belong the victory of diving and remaining under the water longest, or of swimming the greatest distance. Not a bit afraid are they either of spoiling thier complexions,- the rich bronze tint of their skin bidding defiance to the rays of the sun." 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.
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