Alfred Jacob Miller - The Indian Guide

Alfred Jacob Miller
The Indian Guide, c. 1840–60

Alfred Jacob Miller - On the Warpath – Running Fight

Alfred Jacob Miller
On the Warpath – Running Fight, c. 1860

Romancing the West: Alfred Jacob Miller

30 watercolors by Alfred Jacob Miller (1810–1874), one of the first American artists to paint the American West, are displayed in 'Romancing the West: Alfred Jacob Miller' at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, from June 4 to September 18, 2011

Source: Philadelphia Museum of Art /

Born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland, Miller discovered the American West after a hunting journey to the Rocky Mountains with the Scottish adventurer Captain William Drummond Stewart. “As a greenhorn from the East, Miller captured life in the West with wide-eyed admiration” says Kathleen A. Foster, the Robert L. McNeil, Jr. Senior Curator of American Art.

During his expedition with Captain Stewart, Miller created hundreds of sketches of the Western landscape, exotic wildlife, and Native American peoples. After returning to New Orleans (where he had a small studio) Miller started working up on his sketches.

In a press release, the Philadelphia Museum of Art notes that "of different sizes and on different papers, the watercolors in the exhibition suggest works done over time and in different locations". In some cases, the works are based on accounts from other travelers, or even drawn from the artist's imagination. The influence of Eugène Delacroix and Horace Vernet is evident in works such as "On the Warpath – Running Fight, and War Path".

Related content

Amon Carter Museum presents Views and Visions: Prints of the American West, 1820–1970 (exhibition, 2009-2010)
American landscape: the Hudson River School (full essay by

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