Kenneth Hayes Miller

Kenneth Hayes Miller (March 11, 1876 – January 1, 1952) was an American painter, printmaker, and teacher. Born in Oneida, New York, he studied at the Art Students League of New York with Kenyon Cox, Henry Siddons Mowbray and with William Merritt Chase at the New York School of Art. His early works were influenced by the paintings of his friend Albert Pinkham Ryder, and depict figures in phantasmagorical landscapes. After 1920 Miller became interested in the underpainting-and-glazing techniques of the old masters, which he employed in painting contemporary scenes. He is especially noted for his many paintings of women shopping in department stores. The art historian M. Sue Kendall says: "In their classical poses and formalized compositions, Miller’s shoppers become ovoid and columnar forms in cloche hats and chokers, a study of geometricized volumes in space trying to inhabit a single shallow picture plane." Active as a printmaker throughout his career, Miller created many etchings, some of which reproduce his painted compositions. Although he used traditional methods and was hostile to artistic modernism, Miller believed that good art is always radical in nature. He was a socialist, and intended his art to have a political dimension. By the time of his death in New York City in 1952, his reputation was in eclipse, but he was rediscovered in the 1970s.

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