Romancing the West: Alfred Jacob Miller in the Bank of America Collection

Alfred Jacob Miller (1810-1874), War Path, n.d.  Oil and glazes over graphite, ink, and possibly watercolor on cream wove paper.  Bank of America Collection.  Photo credit: John Lamberton
Alfred Jacob Miller (1810-1874), War Path, n.d. Oil and glazes over graphite, ink, and possibly watercolor on cream wove paper. Bank of America Collection. Photo credit: John Lamberton

In 1837, Baltimore portraitist Alfred Jacob Miller accepted an invitation to join Scottish nobleman Capt. William Drummond Stewart on a six-month adventure to the Rocky Mountains. The expedition, along the Oregon Trail to the annual gathering of the fur trade, transformed Miller into an artist whose name is synonymous with the American West.

The fall, the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, MO., presents Romancing the West: Alfred Jacob Miller in the Bank of America Collection. Thirty engaging works on paper, not seen in public since 1964, chronicles the views of one of the first American artists to paint the “Far West,” considered at the time as exotic and distant. These vibrant and poetic images depict legendary mountain men, American Indian life, and scenic landscapes.

Based on his experience, but peppered with the perceptions and attitudes of his era, Miller's portrayal of the West blended fiction with reality.

Margaret C. Conrads, Samuel Sosland Senior Curator, American Art, at the Nelson-Atkins and curator of the exhibition, explains, “Viewers will find that fact mixes with fantasy to reflect life on the frontier both as it was and as it was imagined to be.”

The Bank of America collection presents a fascinating view of Miller's process with intermediary work based on his field sketches and in preparation for watercolor and oils commissioned by patrons.

After debuting at The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, from Sept. 25, 2010-January 9, 2011, the exhibition will travel to the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston and the Philadelphia Museum of Art in 2011. 

 

More News Feed Headlines

Botaniker (The Botanists) (post-1900) by Gabriel Cornelius Ritter von Max

When Crowds Curate, Exhibitions Are By the People

  • August 26, 2014

Curating a museum exhibition can now be as easy and interactive as thousands of people clicking ...

Read More

Tortoises with iPads in the installation “Moving Ghost Town” by Cai Guo-Qiang at the Aspen Art Museum.

Aspen Art Museum Removes Turtles from Controversial Exhibition

  • August 26, 2014

Cold weather has forced the Aspen Art Museum to remove African sulcata tortoises from a ...

Read More

Ron Perelman

Billionaire's Legal Dispute with Art Dealer Pulls in Mugrabi Family

  • August 26, 2014

Depositions are said to be scheduled for September in a legal dispute between billionaire financier Ronald O. Perelman and contemporary art dealer Larry Gagosian.

Read More

"Lee Boroson: Plastic Fantastic" opens Oct.  11, 2014, at Mass MoCA.  “Canopy”, 2010, Dimensions variable, (12 feet height), Silicone coated nylon fabric, blowers, wood.

Mass MoCA Gets $25.4 Million from State for Expansion

  • August 26, 2014

Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (Mass MoCA) received $25.4 million in state funding through a capital facilities bond bill passed by Governor Deval Patrick...

Read More

Related Press Releases

Related Events from ArtfixDaily Calendar

ArtfixDaily Artwire