The Buffalo Bill Center of the West and the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art debuted the exhibition, Alfred Jacob Miller: Revisiting the Rendezvous — in Scotland and Today, this spring.
Opened in Cody, Wyoming, on May 20, 2023, Revisiting the Rendezvous included more than fifty paintings by American artist Alfred Jacob Miller (1810–1874), ranging from intimately scaled watercolors to large oil paintings, and artifacts from the Rocky Mountain fur trade era. The exhibition was complemented by public programs and digital resources.
Revisiting the Rendezvous provided interdisciplinary insights into Miller’s paintings made specially for his Scottish patron William Drummond Stewart in the mid-19th century. For the first time ever, a significant group of these works were reunited and reconsidered. The paintings were inspired by Miller’s 1837 trip with Stewart to the Wind River Mountains, displayed in Stewart’s Scottish estate, and then auctioned and dispersed throughout the world in 1871 following Stewart’s death. Amazingly, many ended up in collections around Wyoming, returning to the region that inspired their creation.
To celebrate the significance of regional holdings, Revisiting the Rendezvous drew solely from collections in and around Wyoming. Lenders included two prominent private collectors, the National Museum of Wildlife Art in Jackson, and the American Heritage Center (AHC) at the University of Wyoming in Laramie. The AHC lent eight paintings from its impressive Graff family collections. These important loans were supplemented by 21 paintings and one chromolithograph from the Center of the West’s own group of 33 works by Miller.
This special exhibition examined the transatlantic patronage relationship between Miller and Stewart, expanding upon earlier, seminal research to provide fresh perspectives on the artworks Miller made for Stewart’s Murthly Castle, and offered a unique opportunity to view many of these special paintings together.
The exhibition offered new angles on Miller’s work; clothing and adornment as expressions of Indigenous identities across time; and historical and ideological connections between the American West and Scotland.
Revisiting the Rendezvous opened at the Center of the West May 20, 2023, and remained on view through October 22, 2023. It then traveled to the Eiteljorg for a 2024 exhibition.
Revisiting the Rendezvous was presented in the Anne & Charles Duncan Special Exhibition Gallery at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West and was sponsored by Marilyn B. Dunn, Margaret and William Frère, Karen and Grant Gregory Family, the Estate of Linda Miller, Linda Spencer Murchison and Reid Murchison, Marnie S. Pillsbury, Sage Creek Ranch, Maggie and Dick Scarlett, Naoma Tate and the Family of Hal Tate, Lisa and Bill Wirthlin, and the generous support of others.
At the Center of the West, the exhibition was dedicated to Peter H. Hassrick and William “Bill” Dwight Weiss.
Launched in 2015 as a joint project among The Ricketts Art Foundation, The Buffalo Bill Center of the West, and The Museum of the Mountain Man, FUR TRADERS AND RENDEZVOUS: THE ALFRED JACOB MILLER ONLINE CATALOGUE is the most extensive online collection of Miller’s paintings from his 1837 trip west.
Learn more about a current-day artist’s journeys to the Green. In addition to Alfred Jacob Miller: Revisiting the Rendezvous—in Scotland and Today, the Buffalo Bill Center of the West presented Tony Foster: Watercolour Diaries from the Green River.
The two exhibitions ran concurrently from May 20–October 22, 2023, in our Anne & Charles Duncan Special Exhibition Gallery.