MFA Boston Custom Prints

Albert Bierstadt

The Buffalo Trail, about 1867

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About the Artwork

During both his trips to the western United States, in 1859 and 1863, Bierstadt observed and sketched the American buffalo (actually bison) that dominated the rolling grasslands from the Mississippi River to the Rocky Mountains. In The Buffalo Trail, made after his second trip in 1863, Bierstadt depicts the seasonal migration of the buffalo between feeding grounds and salt licks.

At this time, the creatures were beginning to be threatened by extinction from excessive hunting. Hundreds of thousands of hides were being shipped back east by the 1870s, and by 1880 only a few thousand buffalo remained. Bierstadt himself had hunted them on his first trip West, but, as Ludlow writes, on the 1863 venture he focused solely on sketching: “Our artist [Bierstadt], though a good shot … had seen enough buffalo-hunting in other expeditions to care little for it now, compared with the artistic opportunities which our battue [hunt] afforded him for portraits of fine old bulls.” In this painting, rather than feature a solitary animal, Bierstadt instead silhouetted a whole herd against bright reflections in the stream, as sunlight breaks through ominous clouds.

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About Our Prints

MFA Boston Custom Prints offers exclusive custom reproductions of artworks in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston collection. Thanks to gallery-quality materials, we create prints as true to the original work as possible, using strict color management protocols and state-of-the-art printing technology.
All reproductions you find in this store are approved by MFA Boston. Many of the works offered are exclusive and not available anywhere else. In addition, new works are continually added to the offering, so come back often to see our new releases.
You have found the work that speaks to you. Now what? Using our innovative custom framing tool you can preview exactly what your finished and framed art will look like. We offer many different moulding styles so there is sure to be a match for any type of decor.

Member Discounts

Museum members will receive their member discount for all orders placed through our Custom Prints store. Simply enter your member ID during the checkout process. Once your membership has been validated, your discount will be applied.