Exhibits: Ruth Miller Drawings: A Retrospective
One of the 20th century’s most respected painters and drawers is featured in a new exhibit at Haverford College’s Cantor Fitzgerald Gallery. “Ruth Miller Drawings: A Retrospective,” running April 4-May 4, 2003, contains 66 works by the artist, a faculty member at the New York Studio School of Drawing, Painting, and Sculpture.
"Ruth Miller is not just an excellent painter, but also a very experienced art educator,” says Ying Li, assistant professor of fine arts and coordinator of the exhibit. “Having her here will be beneficial to students and to the art community. Because her work is straightforward, down-to-earth, and shows her tremendous knowledge of art history and tradition, students will relate to it right away.”
Drawings in the retrospective, which spans more than 40 years in Miller’s career, include landscapes such as Missouri Oak, Weeping Cherry and Maple, and Shinar Mountain Trees; portraits such as Mother, Asleep, and Self-Portrait with Carpet Hat; and Giorgione Still Life, inspired by the work of Italian Renaissance painter Giorgione.
“The anonymous writer who first used the expression ‘draws like an angel’ had Ruth Miller in mind,” says Graham Nickson, dean of the New York Studio School. “The drawings exude passionate sensibility with a pictorial intelligence to match.”
Born in Columbia, Missouri, Miller began her formal art education at the University of Missouri. In the early 1950s she moved to New York City to study at the Art Students’ League. She married her first husband Rowland Elzea in 1958 and moved to rural Pennsylvania, where she remained for over a decade; during this time she taught at the Philadelphia School of Art and Design. In 1972 she moved back to New York, and the following year was invited to take over a drawing class at the New York Studio School, beginning a rich relationship with the school that continues to this day. Miller married her second husband, painter Andrew Forge, in 1974, and moved to New Haven, Connecticut in 1975.
She has taught at Queens College, Parsons School of Design, University of Hartford, Yale University Summer School, Studio Art School of the Aegean in Samos, Greece, and International School of Art in Umbria, Italy. Her work has been shown regularly at the Bowery Gallery in New York, and can be found in collections at the Delaware Art Museum, Corcoran Gallery, National Academy of Design, University of Delaware, and Bryn Mawr College, as well as in private collections throughout the United States and Europe. She was an artist-in-residence at Dartmouth College and exhibited at the school’s Jaffe-Friede & Strauss Galleries.
Miller is a member of the National Academy of Design and of Zeuxis, an association of still life painters. She received the Emil and Dines Carlsen Still Life Award in 1997, the Benjamin Altman Landscape Prize in 1999, and the Henry Ward Ranger Purchase Award in 2000. She has twice been awarded grants by the Ingram Merrill Foundation.
Miller will give a Gallery Talk at the exhibit’s opening on Friday, April 4 at 5 p.m., and an Opening Reception will be held from 5-7 p.m. The Cantor Fitzgerald Gallery is open 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday and noon-5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. For more information, contact the gallery at 610-896-1287.