Some Indians came to Fort Laramie to trade, while others were just passing by. Miller emphasizes the holiday mood among them by showing them engaged in various pastimes, such as racing, while there.
This sublime oil painting may be the largest of the images of the fort that Miller painted. He exhibited it at the American Art Union in 1852, and Isaac Townsend of New York purchased it. It is similar to several of his other versions of Fort Laramie, especially to one in a private collection (probably CR #160F). Miller has changed some of the details of the Indians in the foreground, taken out the teepees, and introduced a stream that is probably intended to be a fork of the Laramie River. (Tyler, 1982, p. 256; Warner, 1979, p.125 – 127)
Signed and dated LL: A.J. Miller/1851
The artist; [American Art-Union, New York (1851 – 1852)]; Isaac Townsend, New York (1852); Mrs. William Bass, St. Louis; [M. Knoedler and Company, New York (1948)]; present owner