This painting is one of several depictions of Kansas, or Kaw, Indians among Miller’s oeuvre. The artist created a portrait of the prominent chief White Plume (CR# 307A) and other depictions of Kansas Indians featuring unidentified sitters, of which this is an example. As Joan Troccoli notes, the subjects of Miller’s “Kaw and Kansas portraits look rather scruffy and disgruntled,” with the exception of White Plume whom Miller gives an air of formality. (Troccoli, 24) In this watercolor rendering, the unknown sitter conforms to Troccoli’s assessment; his expression is stern and his hair defies the turban of blue cloth worn around his head.
Karen B. McWhorter
The artist; Mrs. Laurence R. Carton; Porter Collection; [M. Knoedler and Company, New York, NY, 1965]; InterNorth Art Foundation Collection; present owner