Baltimore artist, Alfred Jacob Miller was a prolific sketcher. He filled many journals with drawings and captions from the time he was studying in Paris and Rome (1833) until the 1870's. In 1969 a collection of 100 of these sketches was generously donated to the Walters Art Museum by J. William Middendorf II. The interests of Miller are clearly reflected in these sketches: the theater (a large portion being quick figure drawings of the Ravel Pantomime Troupe), childhood memories, Baltimore scenery, and witty scenes of characters. (See The Walters Art Gallery Bulletin, April, 1969, Vol. 21, No. 7, Pages 3-4).
"Unsophisticated youth [loq r]- Frank while I have been tickled to death with the farce, I notice that these fiddlers never move a muscle, but look as if they are to be hung immediately if not sooner."
Miller, especially in his younger days, was a devotee of the stage. In Baltimore he had the opportunity to enjoy the widely varied fare presented at the city's two principal theaters, the Holliday, one of the nations's most venerable houses dating from 1792, and the Front, built in 1829.