Lot 32
  • 32

Alfred Jacob Miller

150,000 - 250,000 USD
200,000 USD
bidding is closed


  • Alfred Jacob Miller
  • Hunting Elk by Moonlight 
  • signed AJM (lower right)
  • watercolor and gouache on paper


Mrs. Joseph Whyte
Mrs. Bernadette Larkin, Barboo, Wisconsin
Kramer Galleries, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Kennedy Galleries, New York
Acquired by the present owner from the above, 1973


Ron Tyler, ed., Alfred Jacob Miller: Artist on the Oregon Trail, with a Catalogue Raisonné by Karen Dewees Reynolds and William R. Johnston, Fort Worth, Texas, 1982, no. 186, p. 269

Catalogue Note

Though Alfred Jacob Miller lived and worked in Baltimore, Maryland for the majority of his artistic career, his professional success can be traced to a six-month long expedition west of the Mississippi River. In 1837, William Drummond Stewart, a retired Captain of the British army and Scottish nobleman, invited Miller to accompany him as the commissioned artist on a trip to the Rocky Mountains, where they traveled on what would become the Oregon Trail. Though Miller's journey with Stewart was the only Western trip he made, the scenes he observed and sketches he produced served as the primary inspiration for his subsequent work for the remainder of his career.

Miller executed some 100 watercolors and pen-and-ink sketches during this expedition, which he later reworked in his Baltimore studio into finished watercolors and oil paintings for his patrons. While Karl Bodmer and George Catlin were the first artists to travel to the West, neither ranged as far as Miller nor captured daily life on the frontier with the same immediacy. Indeed, Miller's works present a dynamic and exciting interpretation of the American West, and reveal the romanticism with which the artist viewed this vast and unfamiliar place.