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Romancing the West

Romancing the West

By Margaret C. Conrads
With contributions by William H. Truettner, Lisa Strong, Kathleen A. Foster, and Stephanie Fox Knappe

American artist Alfred Jacob Miller (1810–1874) joined Sir William Drummond Stewart, a Scottish nobleman and adventurer, to chronicle a journey in 1837 to the Rocky Mountains to attend an annual gathering of fur traders. Miller became the first, and perhaps only, artist to paint the legendary fur trade from firsthand knowledge. Thereafter, Miller based his art on the rich experiences from that trip.

Romancing the West presents thirty captivating works on paper, spanning the subjects and techniques that the artist developed over more than thirty years. Mainly studio works in various stages of completion and in a sometimes unorthodox fusion of media, they provide a window onto not only how Miller worked, but how he envisioned the American West.

About the Author
Margaret C. Conrads is the Samuel Sosland Senior Curator of American Art at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, Missouri.