New York/California, Figure, Portrait, Landscape, and Still Life Painting, teaching

Born in Oneida, New York, Kenneth Hayes Miller became a prominent painter and teacher in New York City in the early 20th century.  Not much influenced by modernism, he painted nude and semi-nude figures in settings that were hazy and romantic.  His signature subjects were ordinary people, especially women, going about their lives in the city, a subject he cultivated after 1923 when he moved to a studio on Fourteenth Street.  This location afforded him more exposure to the comings and goings of people on the street.  He also painted landscapes in a style that was looser than he used with his figures.

At the Art Students League and the Chase School of Art, he was a teacher, credited as being especially important to the Urban Realists of the 1920s and 1930s including Reginald Marsh, Edward Hopper, George Bellows, and Isabel Bishop.

He studied at the Art Students League with Kenyon Cox and at the New York School of Art with William Merritt Chase.  In 1899, he began traveling in Europe.  As his style and methods developed, his figures became increasingly sculptural and Renaissance-like, with glazes and under painting that built up the surface.

For more information about Kenneth Miller and to see samples of his work visit the University of Virginia Art Museum website at www.virginia.edu/artmuseum/collections_NEW/the_collections/American/Miller_Kenneth_Hayes.php.

Source: Matthew Baigell, Dictionary of American Art and Lisa Bush Hankin, Selections III

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