(1904 - 1973)
Barse Miller was active/lived in California, Maine. Barse Miller is known for regional scene easel and mural painting, teaching, illustration.
Biography from the Archives of askART
Born in New York City, Barse Miller became a painter and muralist,
studying art first from his mother, Susan Barse Miller (1875-1935), an
academically trained artist. At age eleven, he began studies at
the National Academy of Design in New York and at the Pennsylvania
Academy of Fine Arts with Henry Snell and Hugh Breckenridge. He
also studied in Paris and then from 1924 taught drawing at Chouinard
Art Institute in Los Angeles and did murals for the WPA.
Biography from CalART.com
the 1920s, he joined the California Watercolor Society and is best
known there for Los Angeles area scenes. He became a World War II
special artist- correspondent for Life magazine, and was attached to General MacArthur's Pacific headquarters as chief of the Combat Art Section.
Following the war, he taught in New York at the Art Center School and
Queens College but maintained a studio in Maine. He also made
occasional trips back to California and in 1966 taught at the Rex
Brandt Summer School.
He died in Mexico in 1973.
Edan Hughes, Artists in California, 1786-1940
Barse Miller began formal art instruction at the National Academy of
Design while still in elementary school. There he received instruction
from Henry Snell. A few years later, he continued his education with
Hugh Breckenridge at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. Both of
these teachers were award winning watercolorists. At eighteen years of
age he was awarded the Cresson Traveling Scholarship which enabled him
to study and paint in Europe for two years.
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In 1924, he moved to Los Angeles and settled. The next year he began
exhibiting with the California Art Club and by 1928, was an active
member of the California Water Color Society, serving as its president
in 1936, 1937, and 1938. His watercolors from this era were quite
different than most works being produced on the West Coast. They often
included cityscape subjects with people, automobiles and industrial
objects. As the new era of California watercolorists, led by Millard
Sheets and Phil Dike, emerged in the early 1930s, they welcomed Miller
into the movement and revered him as one of the leading figures.
Throughout the 1930s and 1940s, the watercolors of Barse Miller became
increasingly popular, and his ability to manipulate wet-into-wet washes
had a huge impact on many of his students and fellow artists. His
many years of formal art instruction gave him an advantage because of
his knowledge of color and design, so when the California Group was
being scrutinized in the 1930s, his work helped greatly to give the
overall movement credibility.
During World War II, Miller went into the United States Army and became
head of the Combat Art Section in the South Pacific. He produced
a number of watercolors and was awarded for his artistic contributions
that visually documented the war in that region. After the war, he
received a Guggenheim Fellowship and eventually settled in New York
state. His watercolors after this period became increasingly modern, as
he sought to relate to a changing art world.
During his period in California, Miller taught at the Chouinard Art
Institute and, for ten years, at the Art Center School. As a
teacher of watercolor painting, he helped many of the most successful
California watercolorists to understand the possibilities of this
unique medium. In later years, he also made special visits to the
West Coast to teach at the Brandt-Dike Summer School of Painting and
other watercolor workshops.
In addition to watercolor painting, he also exhibited oil paintings and produced a number of murals.
Source: Gordon T. McClelland and Jay T. Last, California Watercolors 1850-1970 Biographical information in this book is based on interview with Betty Miller, 1984 and interview with Rex Brandt, 1983
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