"Big Bowl" (A Crow Chief)1858 - 1880
"This [Big Bowl] is a translation from the Indian name by the interpreter, who signified to him that we preferred his profile instead of front view of his face; - to this he objected, we wished to learn the reason, and after some delay, he said that if I had only one side of his face, in case he was in battle, I might have the power of making that side sick; - evidently looking on me as a species of magician. The reasoning was not very satisfactory, but he was determined to have his own way, a three-quarter view was the result." 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.
- H: 11 15/16 x W: 9 1/2 in. (30.3 x 24.1 cm)
- watercolor heightened with white on paper
- Courtesy of the Walters Art Museum
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