Museum PR Announcements News and Information

Museum of Fine Arts Houston Presents Romancing the West Alfred Jacob Miller Exhibition

The Museum of Fine Arts Houston presents Romancing the West: Alfred Jacob Miller. On view through May 08 2011.

A six-month journey to the Rocky Mountains in 1837 provided artist Alfred Jacob Miller (1810–1874) with a lifetime of subjects to paint: mountain men in the fur trade, Native American life and traditions, panoramic landscapes, and wilderness scenes. These subjects are revealed in this exhibition of 30 of the artist’s works on paper, not seen in public since the 1960s.

Alfred Jacob Miller, American (1810–1874). War Path. Oil and glazes over graphite, ink and possibly watercolor on cream, wove paper. 9 x 12 1/4 in. Bank of America Collection.

Originally from Baltimore, Miller had a chance encounter, while living in New Orleans, with Scottish adventurer Sir William Drummond Stewart, who invited the artist to accompany him on a journey from Missouri to the Rocky Mountains of present-day Wyoming. On the expedition, Miller executed more than 100 field sketches, which became the inspiration for his work over the next three decades.

The art in this exhibition, mainly studio works at various stages of completion that showcase a sometimes unorthodox fusion of media, provides a window onto how Miller worked and how he envisioned the West. These works depict the early days of westward expansion in lyrical and spirited watercolors that capture the rough terrain, the majestic Rockies, the abundant wildlife, and the mixed cultures that populated the West. The exhibition looks at these brilliant watercolors in the context of 19th-century art in general, Miller’s career, and his place in American art as an early, and innovative, painter in watercolor.

This exhibition is organized by The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art and is made possible by the Bank of America “Art in Our Communities” program.

Generous funding is provided by: The Brown Foundation, Inc. Jeff Fort and Marion Barthelme

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *