Edgar Miller – New Deal Artist
The following is an essay about Edgar Miller by the artist’s biographer, Larry Zgoda:
Edgar Miller was a very fortunate artist in many ways. At the early age of four he was intent upon being an artist and focused intently for much of the remainder of his life on developing the skills and discriminating taste that would lead him to create some of the most beautiful works of art ever done in our city.
He arrived in Chicago at the age of 17 to attend the Art Institute, but found the atmosphere uninspiring. He was hired as an instructor there a few years later. He spent a few years working in the studio of Alphonso Iannelli. By the mid 1920′s he was established in the bohemian world of the Chicago Renaissance. His interest and focus on architecture led him to many architectural commissions in various media.
Edgar Miller worked in as many art forms as he could imagine. Sculpture, watercolor, drawing and stained glass were among his fortes. He also excelled in the graphic arts and later in life, graphic design. His most popular collection of works is at the richly remodeled buildings in Old Town. Here one finds stained glass, fresco, ceramic tiles, sculpture and mosaic, just to name a few. The design of the buildings, intended as artist studios is probably his most persistent endeavor. He worked on aspects of them off and on for over sixty years.
Having known Edgar Miller personally, I was always inspired by the breath of his vision. He found beauty in nature and life. He found value in history, science and the many cultures that populate the world. He found fascination in the unseen human psyche It is my hope that in time his works will become more accessible to the world. In our current art environment, where one needs a verbal dissertation to see many of the new aesthetics, Edgar Miller’s works read visually as fresh, rich and lucid to all.
Visit Larry Zgoda’s website to see a photo of Edgar Miller and read his essay on Miller’s works!
The Old Heidelberg Restaurant, 16 W. Randolph St. in the downtown “Chicago Theatre District – “the King,” which was above a gilded outdoor clock, was carved by noted Chicago artist Edgar Miller.
In 1940 Edgar Miller was paid $7,200 by Northwestern University to design the models for the exterior bas reliefs on the Technology Institute, 2145 Sheridan Road, Evanston, IL.