In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

Reviews 305 evolution underlying all laws of cultural evolution that Chief Seattle, in his great oration before Isaac Stephens of Oregon in 1855, explained when he relinquished all his tribe’s land to the gold rush horde. Let us read again the transcendent vision of the great Sioux medicine-man Black Elk, in com­ parison with Mr. Farb’s outline of the “Make-Believe Indians”. And ponder the current fight in Congress, a national controversy in 1969, over the restora­ tion of land surrounding the sacred Blue Lake of Taos Pueblo in New Mexico. All these reveal an intuitive perception of an ultimate reality, whatever we name it, whose autonomy we must eventually acknowledge above all patterns of social behavior. These two books, valuable as they may be for the information they con­ tain, look at Indians from the outside and with a far perspective. They lack the deep insight into the meanings, ideas, and ideals of Indian culture as reflected in John Collier’s The Indians of the Americas and other more recent books. In this shrinking one-world facing a tragic era of revolution and possible self-destruction, we need a larger perspective than those provided us in these volumes. And we could well heed the ancient Inca proverb: “The frog does not Drink up The pond in which “He lives.” Frank W aters, Taos, New Mexico The West of Alfred Jacob Miller (1837). By Marvin C. Ross. Revised and enlarged edition. (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1968. Ixxxiii -f208 pages, illus., bibliography, index. $15.00.) When Marvin C. Ross published the original edition of this book in 1951, he brought to light a great many water color sketches—201 in all—by the Baltimore and New Orleans artist Alfred Jacob Miller. Some of these had already appeared in 1947 as illustrations in Bernard DeVoto’s Across the Wide Missouri, where they were reproduced in large measure as a result of the pioneer efforts and enthusiasm of Mae Reed Porter to make Miller’s work known. Mr. Ross’s publication of Miller’s sketches housed in the Waters Art Gallery in Baltimore further enhanced the importance of the artist as a recorder of the life of Indians and trappers in their native setting on the plains and in the Wind River Mountains in 1837. 306 Western American Literature In that year, Miller agreed to accompany Captain William Drummond Stewart of Scotland to the Rocky Mountains for the specific purpose of pre­ serving the visual aspects of the free life in the wilderness of the West with which Stewart was enamored. The result was many water color sketches, some of which later became the basis for oil paintings which Stewart com­ missioned Miller to paint for him at Murthly Castle in Scotland. This new edition is issued now not only because the original publication has been out of print for some time but also because new sketches have come to light which permit a reassessment of Miller’s accomplishment. And although Mr. Ross does not include the 160 pictures that have appeared in collections since 1950, he does include six of these in order to illustrate an aspect of Miller’s style heretofore unknown to the public and also to suggest new insights into Stewart’s taste. A new edition is justified in any case because of the interest in Miller’s paintings that has developed during the last two decades. Mr. Ross points out that Miller “has figured in all recent major exhibitions concerned with art representing the Far West and in exhibitions concerned with the fur trappers, the scenery, and the Indians of that area” (p. xxxi). In addition, an increasing number of museums have added Miller’s paintings to their collections—fifteen in the United States and one in Canada—, and these collections exist not only in the West but also in Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Connecticut, New York, and Washington, D.C. Moreover, some of Miller’s pictures appear now as illustrations in so many books about the Far West, and especially those dealing with the fur trade era, that they are almost standard items. In other words, Miller has come to be recognized as...

pdf

Additional Information

ISSN
1948-7142
Print ISSN
0043-3462
Pages
pp. 305-307
Launched on MUSE
2017-10-04
Open Access
No
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.