Alfred Jacob Miller

(1810-1874)

Alfred Jacob Miller was one of the most significant documenters of the Old West in early American history. He began his artistic training with Thomas Sully in Philadelphia and later attended L'Ecole des Beaux Arts in 1833. He painted dramatic and romantic scenes of Native Americans and daring mountain men. Miller was invited to accompany Captain William D. Steward as an expedition artist in the Rocky Mountains. Steward intended for Miller's work to be hung at his castle in Scotland to remind him of the trip. They left from Missouri in May and traveled for the next 6 months. Between the spring and fall of 1837, Miller made over 200 on the spot sketches and watercolors. When Miller returned from this trip he moved to New Orleans. It was here that he transferred most of his drawings into oil paintings. American audiences were amazed at the grand views of the Wyoming Wind River Mountain among other scenes that Miller produced. He spent the next 30 years reinterpreting sketches from his trips as well as working on portraits. Miller died in 1874.